We have studied the ability of rabies virus ribonucleoprotein (RNP) to induce a protective immune response in animals against lethal challenge with rabies and rabies-related lyssa viruses. Liposomes containing either RNP or the glycoprotein (G protein) of a variant virus with multiple alterations in the G antigenic structure conferred no or poor protection, respectively, against lethal intracerebral challenge with rabies virus. By contrast, liposomes containing RNP and the variant G protein induced a good protective response, comparable to that achieved with inactivated virus vaccine against intracerebral challenge. Moreover, mice or raccoons immunized with RNP alone resisted lethal peripheral challenge with homologous or heterologous virus strains. These results indicate that the RNP of rabies virus plays a crucial role in induction of protective immunity.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Dec 1987
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