Vaccinia virus: a tool for research and vaccine development

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Science  21 Jun 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5013, pp. 1662-1667
DOI: 10.1126/science.2047875


Vaccinia virus is no longer needed for smallpox immunization, but now serves as a useful vector for expressing genes within the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. As a research tool, recombinant vaccinia viruses are used to synthesize biologically active proteins and analyze structure-function relations, determine the targets of humoral- and cell-mediated immunity, and investigate the immune responses needed for protection against specific infectious diseases. When more data on safety and efficacy are available, recombinant vaccinia and related poxviruses may be candidates for live vaccines and for cancer immunotherapy.

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