Improving adenovirus vaccines

Including the target in the viral capsid allows immune boost against Pseudomonas

Don Monroe(freelance@DonMonroe.info)
Apr 3, 2005

Researchers have created a successful vaccine strategy in mice that uses the immune system's typical antibody response to adenoviruses—which can prevent modified viruses from expressing their payloads and thus diminish the vaccine's efficacy—to actually boost the antibody response to the vaccine, they report in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

By attaching 720 copies of an immunogenic polypeptide from Pseudomonas aeruginosa to the capsid shell of a replication-deficient adenovirus in addition to inserting the DNA into the virus, scientists at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York were able to successfully vaccinate mice against the bacterium. The strategy, they said, could be useful for other vaccines that don't need the cell-based immunity that arises from expression.

"It's a dual Trojan horse," said study coauthor Ron Crystal, whose earlier work helped pioneer the use of adenovirus for gene transfer.

When DNA for an epitope...

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