The potential of immune-stimulating complexes (iscoms), a novel form of antigenic presentation, for the induction of protective immunity against morbillivirus infection was shown by immunizing dogs with canine distemper virus (CDV) iscoms, which contained the fusion (F) protein and a minor amount of the haemagglutinin of the virus. The immunized dogs developed CDV-neutralizing antibodies but, in contrast to non-immunized dogs, did not develop viraemia or clinical signs of infection upon intranasal challenge with the virulent Snyder Hill strain of CDV. Immunization of dogs with measles virus (MV) iscoms, prepared either from affinity-purified MV F protein or from purified whole virus, resulted in partial protection against challenge with CDV. The data presented clearly show that the iscom form of antigenic presentation may be considered a serious candidate for subunit vaccines against morbillivirus infection.


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