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To support the licensure of a new and safer vaccine to protect people against smallpox, a monkeypox model of infection in cynomolgus macaques, which simulates smallpox in humans, was used to evaluate two vaccines, Acam2000 and Imvamune, for protection against disease. Animals vaccinated with a single immunization of Imvamune were not protected completely from severe and/or lethal infection, whereas those receiving either a prime and boost of Imvamune or a single immunization with Acam2000 were protected completely. Additional parameters, including clinical observations, radiographs, viral load in blood, throat swabs, and selected tissues, vaccinia virus-specific antibody responses, immunophenotyping, extracellular cytokine levels, and histopathology were assessed. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) between the levels of neutralizing antibody in animals vaccinated with a single immunization of Acam2000 (132 U/ml) and the prime-boost Imvamune regime (69 U/ml) prior to challenge with monkeypox virus. After challenge, there was evidence of viral excretion from the throats of 2 of 6 animals in the prime-boost Imvamune group, whereas there was no confirmation of excreted live virus in the Acam2000 group. This evaluation of different human smallpox vaccines in cynomolgus macaques helps to provide information about optimal vaccine strategies in the absence of human challenge studies.


Graham J Hatch, Victoria A Graham, Kevin R Bewley, Julia A Tree, Mike Dennis, Irene Taylor, Simon G P Funnell, Simon R Bate, Kimberley Steeds, Thomas Tipton, Thomas Bean, Laura Hudson, Deborah J Atkinson, Gemma McLuckie, Melanie Charlwood, Allen D G Roberts, Julia Vipond. Assessment of the protective effect of Imvamune and Acam2000 vaccines against aerosolized monkeypox virus in cynomolgus macaques. Journal of virology. 2013 Jul;87(14):7805-15

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PMID: 23658452

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