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Recombinant avipoxvirus vectors are attractive candidates for use in vaccination strategies for infections such as human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), where induction of a CD8+ T cell response is thought to be an important component of protective immunity. Here, we report the expression of a multiepitope polypeptide (TAB9) composed of the central 15 amino acids of the V3 loop from six different isolates of HIV-1 in a fowlpox virus (FWPV) vector, and the use of this vector (FPTAB9LZ) to induce strong HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses in mice. In animals immunized twice intravenously with FPTAB9LZ, almost 2% of the CD8+ T cells in the spleen were shown to produce IFN-gamma in response to stimulation with HIV-1 peptides 1 week after the second immunization. The most dominant response was to the HIV-1 IIIB peptide. A strong HIV-specific response was also induced by intraperitoneal immunization of mice with FPTAB9LZ, whilst subcutaneous immunization elicited a weaker response. Intraperitoneal immunization with FPTAB9LZ was also shown to provide protection against challenge with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing antigens, including those in TAB9. These results confirm the potential of FWPV vectors for use in HIV vaccination strategies.

Original publication




Journal article


Viral Immunol

Publication Date





337 - 356


Animals, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Line, Drug Administration Routes, Epitopes, Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte, Fowlpox virus, Gene Expression, Genetic Vectors, HIV Antigens, HIV Envelope Protein gp120, HIV-1, Humans, Injections, Intravenous, Mice, Peptide Fragments, Peptides, Recombination, Genetic, Spleen, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Vaccination, Vaccinia virus