Hassett, Daniel E. Department of Veterinary Pathobiology and Laboratory for Infectious Disease Research, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
- 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
Vaccination has proven to be one of the cheapest and most effective defenses against infectious diseases. However, most vaccines are composed of proteins, and proteins are very sensitive to changes in temperature. In the 1990s, investigators made a surprising observation that led to a revolution in the way that vaccines are thought about and designed. Specifically, when mice were injected intramuscularly with plasmid DNA, genes on the plasmid could be expressed in the host's muscle tissues. Plasmids are small autonomously replicating circular pieces of bacterial DNA that are easy to manipulate and purify. Scientists have been genetically engineering plasmids for decades to develop tools to understand how genes and their RNA and protein products function in living cells. What was surprising was the ability of mammalian muscle cells to take up and express these foreign bits of DNA. Subsequent studies have shown that the expression of foreign genes following injection with plasmid DNA can provoke the body's immune system to mount both antibody and T-cell (T-lymphocyte) responses to the foreign proteins (antigens) expressed by the plasmid. This led to the birth of a completely new field of vaccine research that has been variously termed DNA, nucleic acid, or genetic vaccination.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information