Vaccines: DNA


From their initial discovery, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) vaccines have evolved considerably in the past three decades to become a viable alternative to the traditional active and live attenuated vaccines. While the safety profile of DNA vaccines is highly promising, there still seem to be some looming challenges with their efficiency. A range of modifications have been made to optimise the immunogenicity and functional efficiency of DNA vaccines including plasmid backbone optimisation, delivery methodology, formulation and therapeutic regimen adaptation. Although most of these changes have provided iterative benefits, a more thorough understanding is needed for lasting success.

Key Concepts

  • DNA vaccines offer a novel viable immunisation against infectious diseases and cancers.
  • Plasmid design and adjuvant formulation enhances the DNA vaccine outcomes.
  • Efficient activation of cellular and humoral response dictates the immunogenicity of DNA vaccines.
  • Categorisation of various factors which affect DNA vaccination strategy into ‘five immune forces’.
  • Next‐generation sequencing and mutanome analysis seem to offer promising future prospects to DNA vaccination.

Keywords: DNA vaccine; plasmid; immunogenicity; lymphocytes; cytokines

Figure 1. Overview of various factors affecting DNA vaccine success.
Figure 2. Various parts of a generic plasmid utilised in DNA vaccine.
Figure 3. Overview of the mechanism of induction of immune responses by DNA vaccine.


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Further Reading

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Tiriveedhi, Venkataswarup(May 2018) Vaccines: DNA. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0000492.pub3]