Recombinant vaccinia viruses (RVVs) expressing each of the haemagglutinin—neuraminidase (HN), fusion (F), nucleocapsid (NP) and matrix (M) proteins of Sendai virus were constructed to investigate their capacities to induce protective immunity against Sendai virus infections. The proteins expressed in cultured cells appeared to be authentic with respect to their antigenicity, electrophoretic mobility, surface expression of the HN and F proteins and, in the case of the HN protein, biological activities. Mice inoculated intranasally with these RVVs developed serum antibodies to the respective Sendai virus proteins, suggesting their expression. In mice immunized with RVV carrying either the HN or the F gene, growth of the challenging Sendai virus was almost completely suppressed in the lung, indicating their capacities to induce effective protective immunity against Sendai virus infections. In contrast, in mice immunized with RVV carrying the NP or M gene, the challenging virus propagated as well as in the control mice, but the virus titres were significantly lower at the late stage of infection than those in the control mice, suggesting that they can also induce protective immunity especially at the late stage of the challenge infection.


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