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Bioimpacts. 2011;1(3):189-91. doi: 10.5681/bi.2011.026. Epub 2011 Sep 30.

Microsurgeon Hirudo medicinalis as a Natural Bioshuttle for Spontaneous Mass Vaccination against Influenza A Virus.

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Research Center for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology, School of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran ; Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, IFOM-IEO Campus, Milan, Italy.



Recent report on existence of a stem region of hemagglutinin has arisen new hopes for vaccination of influenza A as it consist of a conserve fusion peptide shared across several influenza subtypes and can be targeted by human immune system.


Given that traditional vaccination based on live attenuated viruses often fails to surpass such viral infection, a great deal of attention has been devoted to develop a safe yet efficient system for vaccination influenza A. We believe that a natural bioshuttle can be recruited for spontaneous mass vaccination.


Thus, here, we hypothesize that a bioengineered transgenic Hirudo medicinalis can be considered as an alive bioshuttle for in-situ vaccination against influenza A virus. By introducing the designated gene(s) encoding the target fragment (i.e., stem region of hemagglutinin), this microsurgeon can act as a rapid microproducer of viral proteins for in-house mass vaccination through imparting the necessary proteins such as those, naturally presented in leech's saliva.


This peculiar bioshuttle can be easily exploited as a medical modality choice at home resulting in greater patient compliance.


Hirudo medicinalis; Influenza A Virus; Vaccination

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