Submitted to: Vaccine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/9/2001
Publication Date: 5/8/2002
Interpretive Summary: Foot-and-mouth disease virus vaccines were initially prepared by inactivation of the virus by formaldehyde. Despite early evidence, provided forty years ago, that this method of inactivation did not yield consistently an innocuous product, it was not until outbreaks in Western Europe were linked to such products that the procedure was abandoned . Evidence that aziridine inactivation yields a safe and highly immunogenic product had been provided in the 1960's and this paper reviews the development of this method of inactivation.
Technical Abstract: Ethyleneimine, (El) and its N-acetyl derivative (AEI) inactivate a wide range of viruses belonging to several different families under conditions which do not impair the enzymatic or serological properties of several proteins, including those present in blood. Moreover, there is accumulating evidence that the inactivating lesion is solely on the nucleic acid. These observations show that, in addition to their value for the production of vaccines, they have the potentialfor inactivating any adventitious viruses present in plasma to be used for transfusion and the preparation of blood products. The use of aziridines for inactivating viruses for the preparation of vaccines was reviewed by Bahnemann  in this Journal 10 years ago and by Budowsky (2]. Since that time there has been a wider appreciation of their potential usefulness, particularly for the inactivation of viruses in blood and blood products . In this review three main issues will be discussed: 1) their superior inactivation kinetics compared with those obtained with the time-honored formaldehyde; 2) their ability to inactivate viruses without impairing their serological and immunological properties; and 3) their mode of action on the nucleic acid.