Myxoma virus (MYXV) is a poxvirus pathogenic only for European rabbits, but its permissiveness in human cancer cells gives it potential as an oncolytic virus. A recombinant MYXV expressing both the tdTomato red fluorescent protein and interleukin-15 (IL-15) (vMyx-IL-15-tdTr) was constructed. Cells infected with vMyx-IL-15-tdTr secreted bioactive IL-15 and had in vitro replication kinetics similar to that of wild-type MYXV. To determine the safety of this virus for future oncolytic studies, we tested its pathogenesis in European rabbits. In vivo, vMyx-IL-15-tdTr no longer causes lethal myxomatosis. Thus, ectopic IL-15 functions as an antiviral cytokine in vivo, and vMyx-IL-15-tdTr is a safe candidate for animal studies of oncolytic virotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science