We studied the effect of the temporal regulation of herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 glycoprotein D (gD-1) expression in Ia+ epidermal cells (EC) and macrophages on virus specific immunity and protection from HSV-2 challenge. gD-1 was expressed on the surface of cells infected with a vaccinia recombinant containing gD-1 under the control of an early vaccinia virus promoter (VP176). It was not expressed in cells infected with a recombinant (VP254) in which gD-1 is controlled by a late vaccinia virus promoter. BALB/c mice immunized with both recombinants seroconverted to HSV-2 as determined by neutralization. However, HSV specific delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses were significantly (p<0.025) higher in VP176 than VP254 immunized animals. Both VP176 and VP254 immunized mice were protected from severe neurological disease due to HSV-2 challenge at 14 days post immunization, but long term protection was observed only in VP176 immunized mice.

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