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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2004 Dec;3(6):673-9.

New recombinant vaccines based on the use of prokaryotic antigen-display systems.

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  • 1Institute of Protein Biochemistry, C.N.R., Via Marconi 10, 80125 Napoli, Italy.


A major challenge in vaccine design has been to identify antigen presentation systems that elicit strong T- and B-cell responses. In the authors' laboratory, two new delivery vehicles derived from nonpathogenic prokaryotic organisms were recently designed and investigated. Conserved antigenic determinants were inserted into the N-terminal region of the major pVIII coat protein of bacteriophage fd virions or on the surface of an icosahedral scaffold formed by the acyltransferase component (E2 protein) of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex of Bacillus stearothermophilus. The data indicate that the antigenic determinant displayed by either fd virions or on the surface of the E2 lattice are accessible to the immune system, and are able to trigger a humoral response as well as a potent helper and cytolytic response in vitro and in vivo. These systems offer the potential for safe and inexpensive vaccines to elicit full-spectrum immune responses.

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