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Open AccessArticle

Recombinant Myxoma Virus Expressing Walleye Dermal Sarcoma Virus orfC Is Attenuated in Rabbits

1
Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
2
Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(5), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12050517
Received: 7 April 2020 / Revised: 4 May 2020 / Accepted: 6 May 2020 / Published: 8 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
The poxvirus, myxoma virus (MYXV) has shown efficacy as an oncolytic virus (OV) in some cancer models. However, MYXV replication within murine cancer models and spontaneous canine sarcomas is short-lived. In mice, successful treatment of tumors requires frequent injections with MYXV. We hypothesize that treatment of cancer with a recombinant MYXV that promotes apoptosis could improve the efficacy of MYXV. The orfC gene of walleye dermal sarcoma virus (WDSV), which induces apoptosis, was recombined into the MYXV genome (MYXVorfC). A marked increase in apoptosis was observed in cells infected with MYXVorfC. To ensure that expression of WDSV orfC by MYXV does not potentiate the pathogenesis of MYXV, we evaluated the effects of MYXVorfC inoculation in the only known host of MYXV, New Zealand white rabbits. Virus dissemination in rabbit tissues was similar for MYXVorfC and MYXV. Virus titers recovered from tissues were lower in MYXVorfC-infected rabbits as compared to MYXV-infected rabbits. Importantly, rabbits infected with MYXVorfC had a delayed onset of clinical signs and a longer median survival time than rabbits infected with MYXV. This study indicates that MYXVorfC is attenuated and suggests that MYXVorfC will be safe to use as an OV therapy in future studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: poxvirus; myxoma virus; attenuated; rabbits; oncolytic poxvirus; myxoma virus; attenuated; rabbits; oncolytic
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ashton, L.V.; Quackenbush, S.L.; Castle, J.; Wilson, G.; McCoy, J.; Jordan, M.; MacNeill, A.L. Recombinant Myxoma Virus Expressing Walleye Dermal Sarcoma Virus orfC Is Attenuated in Rabbits. Viruses 2020, 12, 517.

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