Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a leading cause of congenital infection worldwide and therefore is recognized as an
important target for vaccine development. Data from natural infections and work done with animal models, including
models of congenital infection, provide the rationale for their development. CMV vaccine evaluations were begun in the
mid-1970’s with an attenuated live virus vaccine, Towne, but this vaccine has not consistently provided protection. Most
recently, data from a trial with a subunit glycoprotein B (gB) vaccine administered with the adjuvant MF59 became available.
This trial, conducted in post-partum women, demonstrated that the vaccine decreased CMV infections, increasing
optimism that a protective CMV vaccine could be developed. Other approaches for CMV that have entered clinical trials
include replicons, DNA vaccines, prime boost strategies, and chimeric live viruses. The replicon vaccine included gB and
the T cell targets phosphoprotein (pp)65 and Immediate Early (IE)1 while the DNA vaccine was given with a new adjuvant
and included gB and pp65. The optimal composition for a CMV vaccine remains to be defined but trials continue
with the gB vaccine and others.
Keywords: Cytomegalovirus, congenital infection, replicons, DNA vaccines, chimeric, vectors, glycoprotein B (gB) vaccine, natural infections, vaccine evaluations, prime boost strategies, asymptomatic, immunosenescence, protective immune response, cytokines, neutralizing antibodies
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