A recombinant vaccinia-rabies virus in the immunocompromised host: oral innocuity, progressive parenteral infection, and therapeutics

Vaccine. 1997 Feb;15(2):140-8. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(96)00163-6.


With the emergence of raccoons (Procyon lotor) as the primary rabies reservoir in the United States of America, a recombinant vaccinia-rabies glycoprotein (V-RG) virus vaccine was developed that protected raccoons by the oral route from rabies infection. Despite extensive laboratory evaluation, vaccine safety concerns remained about free-choice distribution for wildlife rabies control. In this study, the oral innocuity of V-RG virus was demonstrated in immunodeficient mice but parenteral exposure resulted in systemic and progressive infection, albeit significantly abrogated in severity in comparison to vaccinia virus. Treatment with vaccinia immune globulin and hydroxyphosphonylmethoxy-propyl-cytosine resulted in significantly longer survival and minimized V-RG viral gross lesions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Injections, Intradermal
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Mice, SCID
  • Rabies / prevention & control*
  • Rabies / virology
  • Rabies Vaccines / immunology*
  • Rabies virus / immunology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / administration & dosage*
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / adverse effects
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology*
  • Vaccinia / prevention & control*
  • Vaccinia / virology
  • Vaccinia virus / immunology
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Viral Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • Rabies Vaccines
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Viral Vaccines