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Animal models and phase I clinical trials have shown that repeat virus delivery and subsequent transgene expression is limited by the generation of humoral and cellular immune responses directed towards the therapeutic vector. The presence of a pre-existing immune response may even prevent initial delivery. In order to determine the presence of pre-existing anti-adenovirus humoral immunity we analysed ascitic fluid, collected from the peritoneal cavity of patients with advanced ovarian cancer. Twelve ascitic fluid and four matched serum samples were examined. The titre and isotype of anti-adenovirus antibodies was determined by ELISA, and Western blotting identified the molecular basis of the immune response, which was primarily directed towards fibre and penton base. Neutralisation of virus infectivity was assessed in vitro by measurement of green fluorescent protein reporter gene expression. We found that the ascitic fluid samples contain antibodies that recognise both adenovirus types 2 and 5, were predominantly IgG and directed towards the viral antigens responsible for cell adhesion, and had virus neutralising activity.

Original publication




Journal article


Gene Therapy

Publication Date





637 - 643