Internalisation of the plant toxin ricin occurs by retrograde transport which delivers the toxin to the ER where it intersects with the MHC class I system for peptide antigen display. Here, we describe the generation of an inactivated, non-toxic, ricin molecule fused to a peptide which elicits a CD8+ T-cell response in mice directed against pneumonia virus of mice, a pneumovirus related to human respiratory syncytial virus. The ricin fusion elicited a significant T-cell response when delivered by intraperitoneal inoculation in the absence of adjuvent. Challenge experiments showed that the T-cell response resulting from inoculation with the ricin-peptide fusion molecule delayed the onset of virus-induced disease.
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