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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2009 Jun;8(6):761-77. doi: 10.1586/erv.09.29.

Strategies to overcome host immunity to adenovirus vectors in vaccine development.

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  • 1Division of Human Gene Therapy, Departments of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, BMR2 470, 901 19th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35294-32172, USA.


The first clinical evaluations of adenovirus (Ad)-based vectors for gene therapy were initiated in the mid-1990s and led to great anticipation for future utility. However, excitement surrounding gene therapy, particularly Ad-based therapy, was diminished upon the death of Jesse Gelsinger, and recent discouraging results from the HIV vaccine STEP trial have brought efficacy and safety issues to the forefront again. Even so, Ad vectors are still considered among the safest and most effective vaccine vectors. Innate and pre-existing immunity to Ad mediate much of the acute toxicities and reduced therapeutic efficacies observed following vaccination with this vector. Thus, innovative strategies must continue to be developed to reduce Ad-specific antigenicity and immune recognition. This review provides an overview and critique of the most promising strategies, including results from preclinical trials in mice and nonhuman primates, which aim to revive the future of Ad-based vaccines.

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