Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is ubiquitous in all populations, and is the most commonly recognized cause of congenital viral infection in developed countries. On the basis of the economic costs saved and the improvement in quality of life that could potentially be conferred by a successful vaccine for prevention of congenital HCMV infection, the Institute of Medicine has identified HCMV vaccine development as a major public health priority. An effective vaccine could potentially also be beneficial in preventing or ameliorating HCMV disease in immunocompromised individuals. Although there are no licensed HCMV vaccines currently available, enormous progress has been made in the last decade, as evidenced by the recently reported results of a Phase II trial of a glycoprotein B vaccine for the prevention of HCMV infection in seronegative women of childbearing age. HCMV vaccines currently in clinical trials include: glycoprotein B subunit vaccines; alphavirus replicon particle vaccines; DNA vaccines; and live-attenuated vaccines. A variety of vaccine strategies are also being examined in preclinical systems and animal models of infection. These include: recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus vaccines; recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara; replication-deficient adenovirus-vectored vaccines; and recombinant live-attenuated virus vaccines generated by mutagenesis of cloned rodent CMV genomes maintained as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. In this article, we provide an overview of the current state of clinical trials and preclinical development of vaccines against HCMV, with an emphasis on studies that have been conducted in the past 5 years. We also summarize a number of recent advances in the study of the biology of HCMV, particularly with respect to epithelial and endothelial cell entry of the virus, which have implications for future vaccine design.
- congenital cytomegalovirus infection
- cytomegalovirus glycoprotein B
- cytomegalovirus vaccine
- endothelial cell entry
- epithelial cell entry
- human cytomegalovirus