Three human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) seronegative individuals were immunized with a single dose of HCMV envelope; two individuals developed neutralizing antibodies. Two naturally HCMV seropositive and three HCMV seronegative human volunteers were immunized with a major glycoprotein complex, gA/gB, of HCMV that had been purified by immunoadsorbent column chromatography. After a single injection of the gA/gB preparation, the naturally seropositive individuals developed higher titres of neutralizing antibodies and temporarily higher HCMV-specific lymphocyte proliferation (HCMV-LP) responses in vitro. The seronegative individuals developed neutralizing antibodies after the third injection of gA/gB, which were present only transiently, but showed a rapid reappearance and increase in titre after the fourth injection. At 1 year after the first injection, the neutralizing antibody titres were still comparable with those of the naturally seropositive individuals. HCMV-LP responses to HCMV in the initially seronegative individuals developed after the second or third injection with the gA/gB preparation and remained positive during the 1-year observation period. These results show that the gA/gB protein induces both humoral and cellular immune responses in humans, and might serve as the basis of a subunit vaccine. © 1990.
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