The bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase gene was integrated into the fowlpox virus genome under the control of the vaccinia virus early/late promoter, P. The recombinant fowlpox virus, fpEFLT7pol, stably expressed T7 RNA polymerase in avian and mammalian cells, allowing transient expression of transfected genes under the control of the T7 promoter. The recombinant fowlpox virus expressing T7 RNA polymerase offers an alternative to the widely used vaccinia virus vTF7-3, or the recently developed modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) T7 RNA polymerase recombinant, a highly attenuated strain with restricted host-range. Recombinant fowlpox viruses have the advantage that as no infectious virus are produced from mammalian cells they do not have to be used under stringent microbiological safety conditions.


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