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Curr Opin Mol Ther. 2000 Apr;2(2):188-98.

DNA vaccines--challenges in delivery.

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Wyeth-Lederie Vaccines, One Great Valley Parkway, Malvern, PA 19355, USA.


DNA vaccines are typically comprised of plasmid DNA molecules that encode an antigen(s) derived from a pathogen or tumor cell. Following introduction into a vaccine, cells take up the DNA, where expression and immune presentation of the encoded antigen(s) takes place. DNA can be introduced by viral or bacterial vectors or through uptake of 'naked' or complexed DNA. Vaccination with DNA is a recent technology possessing distinct advantages over traditional vaccines (killed or attenuated pathogens) and the more recently developed subunit vaccines. Unlike most subunit vaccines, DNA vaccines induce both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune response. The stimulation of both arms of the immune system is important not only for the prevention of many diseases including AIDS, but also allows the use of a vaccine for therapeutic purposes. While the traditional attenuated pathogen vaccines are also able to elicit both cellular and humoral immune responses, there is a risk of reversion from the attenuated state to the virulent state. This risk does not exist with DNA vaccines. DNA vaccines can be manufactured and formulated by generic processes. DNA vaccine technology, however, is still in its infancy and much research needs to be done to improve the efficiency with which these vaccines work in humans. While continued efforts toward improving both DNA expression and DNA delivery are equally important for increasing the utility of DNA vaccines, this review will focus both on non-viral delivery of plasmid DNA and delivery methods for the encoded antigen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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