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Vaccine. 2000 Mar 17;18(18):1920-4.

CpG DNA overcomes hyporesponsiveness to hepatitis B vaccine in orangutans.

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  • 1Loeb Health Research Institute at the Ottawa Hospital, 725 Parkdale Avenue, Ottawa, Canada.


Oligonucleotides containing immunostimulatory CpG motifs (CpG ODN) have been shown to be potent Th1-type adjuvants for augmenting antigen-specific responses in mice against hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). The hepatitis B virus (HBV) infects only humans and great apes and appears to exist among wild chimpanzees and orangutans. An outbreak of HBV among orangutans being rehabilitated for re-introduction to the jungle caused the death of several animals. A prophylactic vaccination program revealed that orangutans are quite hypo-responsive to a current commercial vaccine compared to results obtained previously in humans and chimpanzees. Addition of CpG ODN to hepatitis B vaccine greatly increased the seroconversion rate and the titers of antibody against HBsAg (anti-HBs). This is the first demonstration of CpG DNA in a great ape and the results have important implications for the vaccination of humans against HBV and other diseases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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