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The antibody responses elicited by immunization of humans with vaccinia virus (VACV) strains Lister, Dryvax and NYVAC have been determined and compared. Neutralizing antibodies against intracellular mature virus (IMV) and extracellular enveloped virus (EEV), and binding antibody titres (ELISA) against the EEV protein B5, the IMV proteins A27 and H3, and VACV-infected cell lysate were measured. Lister and Dryvax induced broadly similar antibody titres, consistent with the fact that these vaccines each protected against smallpox. In contrast, antibody titres induced by NYVAC were significantly lower than those induced by both Lister and Dryvax. Moreover, there were qualitative differences with NYVAC-immunized subjects failing to induce A27-specific antibodies. These observations suggest that although NYVAC is a safer VACV strain, it does not induce an optimal VACV-specific antibody response. However, NYVAC strains engineered to express antigens from other pathogens remain promising candidate vaccines for immunization against other diseases.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of General Virology


Microbiology Society

Publication Date





2992 - 2997