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Nat Med. 1995 Jun;1(6):583-7.

Preclinical efficacy of a prototype DNA vaccine: enhanced protection against antigenic drift in influenza virus.

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Department of Virus and Cell Biology, Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, Pennsylvania 19486, USA.


Vaccination with plasmid DNA expression vectors encoding foreign proteins elicits antibodies and cell-mediated immunity and protects against disease in animal models. We report a comparison of DNA vaccines, using contemporary human strains of virus, and clinically licensed (inactivated virus or subvirion) vaccines in preclinical animal models, to better predict their efficacy in humans. Influenza DNA vaccines elicited antibodies in both non-human primates and ferrets and protected ferrets against challenge with an antigenically distinct epidemic human influenza virus more effectively than the contemporary clinically licensed vaccine. These studies demonstrate that DNA vaccines may be more effective, particularly against different strains of virus, than inactivated virus or subvirion vaccines.

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