A DNA vaccine induces SARS coronavirus neutralization and protective immunity in mice

Zhi Yong Yang, Wing Pui Kong, Yue Huang, Anjeanette Roberts, Brian R. Murphy, Kanta Subbarao, Gary J. Nabel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

482 Scopus citations


Public health measures have successfully identified and contained outbreaks of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (SARS-CoV), but concerns remain over the possibility of future recurrences. Finding a vaccine for this virus therefore remains a high priority. Here, we show that a DNA vaccine encoding the spike (S) glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV induces T cell and neutralizing antibody responses, as well as protective immunity, in a mouse model. Alternative forms of S were analysed by DNA immunization. These expression vectors induced robust immune responses mediated by CD4 and CD8 cells, as well as significant antibody titres, measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Moreover, antibody responses in mice vaccinated with an expression vector encoding a form of S that includes its transmembrane domain elicited neutralizing antibodies. Viral replication was reduced by more than six orders of magnitude in the lungs of mice vaccinated with these S plasmid DNA expression vectors, and protection was mediated by a humoral but not a T-cell-dependent immune mechanism. Gene-based vaccination for the SARS-CoV elicits effective immune responses that generate protective immunity in an animal model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-564
Number of pages4
Issue number6982
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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