Quantifying the effectiveness of betaherpesvirus-vectored transmissible vaccines

Tanner J. Varrelman, Christopher H. Remien, Andrew J. Basinski, Shelley Gorman, Alec Redwood, Scott L. Nuismer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Transmissible vaccines have the potential to revolutionize how zoonotic pathogens are controlledwithinwildlife reservoirs. A key challenge that must be overcome is identifying viral vectors that can rapidly spread immunity through a reservoir population. Because they are broadly distributed taxonomically, species specific, and stable to genetic manipulation, betaherpesviruses are leading candidates for use as transmissible vaccine vectors. Here we evaluate the likely effectiveness of betaherpesvirus-vectored transmissible vaccines by developing and parameterizing a mathematical model using data from captive and free-living mouse populations infected with murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV). Simulations of our parameterized model demonstrate rapid and effective control for a range of pathogens, with pathogen elimination frequently occurring within a year of vaccine introduction. Our results also suggest, however, that the effectiveness of transmissible vaccines may vary across reservoir populations and with respect to the specific vector strain used to construct the vaccine.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2108610119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2022


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