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Nature. 1984 Jan 12-18;307(5947):178-80.

Human hepatitis B vaccine from recombinant yeast.


The worldwide importance of human hepatitis B virus infection and the toll it takes in chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and hepatocarcinoma, make it imperative that a vaccine be developed for worldwide application. Human hepatitis B vaccines are presently prepared using hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) that is purified from the plasma of human carriers of hepatitis B virus infection. The preparation of hepatitis B vaccine from a human source is restricted by the available supply of infected human plasma and by the need to apply stringent processes that purify the antigen and render it free of infectious hepatitis B virus and other possible living agents that might be present in the plasma. Joint efforts between our laboratories and those of Drs W. Rutter and B. Hall led to the preparation of vectors carrying the DNA sequence for HBsAg and antigen expression in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here we describe the development of hepatitis B vaccine of yeast cell origin. HBsAg of subtype adw was produced in recombinant yeast cell culture, and the purified antigen in alum formulation stimulated production of antibody in mice, grivet monkeys and chimpanzees. Vaccinated chimpanzees were totally protected when challenged intravenously with either homologous or heterologous subtype adr and ayw virus of human serum source. This is the first example of a vaccine produced from recombinant cells which is effective against a human viral infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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