Myxoma virus expressing interleukin-15 fails to cause lethal myxomatosis in European rabbits

Jia Liu, Sonia Wennier, Mary Reinhard, Edward Roy, Amy MacNeill, Grant McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5933-5938
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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