Recombinant virus vaccines are often less effective due to immunodominant responses against endogenous vector antigens. However, the use of small RNA virus vectors provides an opportunity to limit host exposure to endogenous virus antigens and focus immune responses on the desired vaccine antigen. Using the Daniel's strain of Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus, we have identified strategies to modulate responses to endogenous viral proteins by manipulating the host CD8+ T-cell repertoire prior to infection or through the use of mutations introduced into the virus genome. Both of these approaches enhance responses to vaccine antigens introduced into the picornavirus. However, the use of mutant immunodominant epitopes provides an opportunity for enhancing vaccine responses without further manipulation of the host. Using this strategy, we demonstrate that modification of the consensus MHC class I anchor residue within the virus genome can promote enhanced immunity to foreign antigens and self-antigens embedded in the virus genome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine