Research ArticleVaccines

A replication-defective human cytomegalovirus vaccine for prevention of congenital infection

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Science Translational Medicine  26 Oct 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 362, pp. 362ra145
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf9387

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Progress toward a human cytomegalovirus vaccine

Most adults carry latent human cytomegalovirus, with no apparent symptoms. But if a pregnant woman becomes newly infected or an active infection is triggered, the fetus can be harmed and show severe neurodevelopmental deficits. Wang and colleagues report a key step toward an effective vaccine against this dangerous herpesvirus. They engineered a genetic off switch into the whole virus to render it harmless and show that it can elicit desirable immune responses such as neutralizing antibodies cell-mediated immune responses in several animal species, including nonhuman primates.