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Although Vaccinia virus (VACV) was used to eradicate smallpox by dermal vaccination, there is little information available about the immune response induced at the vaccination site. Previously, an intradermal murine model that mimics smallpox vaccination was established. Here, this model was used to investigate which leukocytes are recruited to the infected lesion and what are the kinetics of recruitment. Data presented show that VACV infection induced the infiltration of macrophages, followed by granulocytes and lymphocytes. Up to 4 days post-infection, the major lymphocyte population was TCRγδ T cells, but thereafter, there was a large recruitment of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Interestingly, the majority of T cells expressed the natural killer-cell marker DX5. This report is the first to characterize the local immune response sequence to VACV infection and represents a benchmark against which the responses induced by genetically modified VACVs may be compared.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of General Virology


Microbiology Society

Publication Date





1157 - 1161