Vaccinia virus: a suitable vehicle for recombinant vaccines?
- Cite this article as:
- Kaplan, C. Archives of Virology (1989) 106: 127. doi:10.1007/BF01311044
The complications of vaccination against small pox are discussed in relation to the contemplated use as vaccines of recombinant vaccinia viruses carrying the genes for “protective” antigens derived from a range of pathogens. Recombinant vaccines are potentially extremely valuable instruments in the fight against infectious diseases, but caution is needed in their deployment. In addition to the dangers associated with the pathogenicity of various strains of vaccinia virus, there may be problems related to the ecology of the poxviruses—especially orthopoxviruses. Before recombinant vaccinia virus vaccines are widely used, ecological research is urgently needed. It should cover not only the ecology of orthopoxviruses, but also possible interactions between engineered vaccinia viruses released into the environment and wild viruses which may be resident in both target and non-target species in a wide selection of habitats.