A comparison of the effect of molluscum contagiosum virus MC159 and MC160 proteins on vaccinia virus virulence in intranasal and intradermal infection routes

Sunetra Biswas, Geoffrey L. Smith, Edward J. Roy, Brian Ward, Joanna L. Shisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) causes persistent, benign skin neoplasm in children and adults. MCV is refractive to growth in standard tissue culture and there is no relevant animal model of infection. Here we investigated whether another poxvirus (vaccinia virus; VACV) could be used to examine MCV immunoevasion protein properties in vivo. The MCV MC159L or MC160L genes, which encode NF-κB antagonists, were inserted into an attenuated VACV lacking an NF-κB antagonist (vΔA49), creating vMC159 and vMC160. vMC160 slightly increased vΔA49 virulence in the intranasal and intradermal routes of inoculation. vMC159 infection was less virulent than vΔA49 in both inoculation routes. vMC159-infected ear pinnae did not form lesions, but virus replication still occurred. Thus, the lack of lesions was not due to abortive virus replication. This system provides a new approach to examine MCV immunoevasion proteins within the context of a complete and complex immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number001006
Pages (from-to)246-252
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018



  • Intradermal infection
  • MC159
  • MC160
  • Molluscum contagiosum virus
  • Pathogenesis
  • Poxvirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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