Hassett, Daniel E. Department of Veterinary Pathobiology and Laboratory for Infectious Disease Research, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
Last reviewed:April 2019
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- Conventional vaccines
- Nucleic acid vaccines
- Improving the physical delivery of DNA
- Increasing the expression and processing of DNA-encoded antigens
- Modulating the immune response
- Safety concerns associated with DNA vaccination
- Future of DNA vaccines
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
An immunization technique that provides protection against disease through the injection of genetically engineered deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Vaccination is the active immunization against a variety of microorganisms or their components, with the ultimate goal of protecting the host against subsequent challenge by the naturally occurring infectious agent. As a novel approach to vaccine development, investigators have begun to study deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)–based immunization techniques in ongoing efforts to improve the efficacy of vaccines. In comparison to the traditional forms of vaccination, genetically engineered DNA vaccination (Fig. 1) offers a number of theoretical advantages, especially with regard to the induction and expression of antigens that more closely resemble native viral epitopes (and thus are potentially able to stimulate a stronger immune response) and with regard to the speed with which these DNA vaccines can be created and manipulated. However, the immune responses elicited by DNA vaccines in humans have not demonstrated comparable responses as observed with conventional protein-based vaccines. See also: Antigen; Biologicals; Biotechnology; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Genetic engineering; Immunology; Vaccination
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