Recombinants based on poxviruses have been used extensively as gene delivery systems to study many biological functions of foreign genes and as vaccines against many pathogens, particularly in the veterinary field. Based on safety record, efficient expression and ability to trigger specific immune responses, two of the most promising poxvirus vectors for human use are the attenuated modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) and the Copenhagen derived NYVAC strains. Because of the scientific and clinical interest in these two vectors, here we review their biological characteristics, with emphasis on virus-host cell interactions, viral immunomodulators, gene expression profiling, virus distribution in animals, and application as vaccines against different pathogens and tumors.
Keywords: Poxvirus vectors, mva and nyvac, vaccines, pathogens, tumours, preclinical, clinical, vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), Copenhagen, NYVAC strains
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