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Viruses 2017, 9(11), 318; doi:10.3390/v9110318

Hazard Characterization of Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Vector: What Are the Knowledge Gaps?

1
Genome Editing Research Group, GenØk-Center for Biosafety, Siva Innovation Center, N-9294 Tromso, Norway
2
Molecular Inflammation Research Group, Institute of Medical Biology, University i Tromsø (UiT)—The Arctic University of Norway, N-9037 Tromso, Norway
3
Department of Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, IMC University of Applied Sciences Piaristengasse 1, A-3500 Krems, Austria
4
Artic Infection Biology, Department of Artic and Marine Biology, UIT—The Artic University of Norway, N-9037 Tromso, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 29 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smallpox and Emerging Zoonotic Orthopoxviruses: What Is Coming Next?)
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Abstract

Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is the vector of choice for human and veterinary applications due to its strong safety profile and immunogenicity in vivo. The use of MVA and MVA-vectored vaccines against human and animal diseases must comply with regulatory requirements as they pertain to environmental risk assessment, particularly the characterization of potential adverse effects to humans, animals and the environment. MVA and recombinant MVA are widely believed to pose low or negligible risk to ecosystem health. However, key aspects of MVA biology require further research in order to provide data needed to evaluate the potential risks that may occur due to the use of MVA and MVA-vectored vaccines. The purpose of this paper is to identify knowledge gaps in the biology of MVA and recombinant MVA that are of relevance to its hazard characterization and discuss ongoing and future experiments aimed at providing data necessary to fill in the knowledge gaps. In addition, we presented arguments for the inclusion of uncertainty analysis and experimental investigation of verifiable worst-case scenarios in the environmental risk assessment of MVA and recombinant MVA. These will contribute to improved risk assessment of MVA and recombinant MVA vaccines. View Full-Text
Keywords: Modified vaccinia virus Ankara; orthopoxvirus; hazard characterization; knowledge gaps; biosafety; environmental risk assessment; uncertainty analysis; smallpox; recombinant vaccines; virus vector Modified vaccinia virus Ankara; orthopoxvirus; hazard characterization; knowledge gaps; biosafety; environmental risk assessment; uncertainty analysis; smallpox; recombinant vaccines; virus vector
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Okeke, M.I.; Okoli, A.S.; Diaz, D.; Offor, C.; Oludotun, T.G.; Tryland, M.; Bøhn, T.; Moens, U. Hazard Characterization of Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Vector: What Are the Knowledge Gaps? Viruses 2017, 9, 318.

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