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Crit Rev Immunol. 1997;17(2):139-54.

DNA vaccines -- a modern gimmick or a boon to vaccinology?

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Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996-0845, USA.


The reports in 1993 that naked DNA encoding viral genes conferred protective immunity came as a surprise to most vaccinologists. This review analyses the expanding number of examples where plasmid DNA induces immune responses. Issues such as the type of immunity induced, mechanisms of immune protection, and how DNA vaccines compare with other approaches are emphasized. Additional issues discussed include the likely means by which DNA vaccines induce CTL, how the potency and type of immunity induced can be modified, and whether DNA vaccines represent a practical means of manipulating unwanted immune response occurring during immunoinflammatory diseases. It seems doubtful if DNA vaccines will replace currently effective vaccines, but they may prove useful for prophylactic use against some agents that at present lack an effective vaccine. DNA vaccines promise to be valuable to manipulate the immune response in situations where responses to agents are inappropriate or ineffective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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