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Bioelectrochemistry. 2007 May;70(2):269-74. Epub 2006 Oct 14.

A single HBsAg DNA vaccination in combination with electroporation elicits long-term antibody responses in sheep.

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Vaccine & Infectious Disease Organization, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Vaccines continue to be the most cost effective method to reduce the burden of disease in both human and animal health. However, there is a need to improve the duration of immunity following vaccination, since maintenance of protective levels of antibody in serum or the ability to rapidly respond upon re-exposure (memory) is critical if vaccines are to provide long-term protective immunity. The purpose of this experiment was to test the duration of antibody responses and the ability to generate anamnestic responses following a single immunization with a DNA vaccine encoding hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) delivered by a variety of routes. Sheep immunized with the conventional HBsAg subunit vaccine (Engerix-B) as well as sheep immunized with a HBsAg DNA vaccine, combined with electroporation, generated significant antibody responses that were sustained for 25 weeks after primary immunization. At 25 weeks, all experimental groups received a secondary immunization with the HBsAg subunit vaccine. Sheep that received a primary DNA immunization, in combination with electroporation, mounted an anamnestic response similar to the cohort immunized with the HBsAg subunit vaccine. In contrast, animals immunized with DNA vaccines administered without electroporation elicited no detectable memory response. The presence of immune memory was significantly correlated with the induction of a prolonged primary immune response. Thus, a single DNA vaccination, in combination with electroporation, approached the efficacy of the commercial subunit vaccine in the maintenance of long-term protective serum antibody titres and immune memory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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