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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2006 Dec;5(6):803-25.

Optimization and delivery of plasmid DNA for vaccination.

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  • 1Institute of Bacteriology, Mycology and Hygiene, Department of Pathobiology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Veterin√§rplatz 1, A- 1210, Vienna, Austria.


Vaccination with DNA is one of the most promising novel immunization techniques against a variety of pathogens and tumors, for which conventional vaccination regimens have failed. DNA vaccines are able to stimulate both arms of the immune system simultaneously, without carrying the safety risks associated with live vaccines, therefore representing not only an alternative to conventional vaccines but also significant progress in the prevention and treatment of fatal diseases and infections. However, translation of the excellent results achieved in small animals to similar success in primates or large animals has so far proved to be a major hurdle. Moreover, biosafety issues, such as the removal of antibiotic resistance genes present in plasmid DNA used for vaccination, remain to be addressed adequately. This review describes strategies to improve the design and production of conventional plasmid DNA, including an overview of safety and regulatory issues. It further focuses on novel systems for the optimization of plasmid DNA and the development of diverse plasmid DNA delivery systems for vaccination purposes.

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