Presentation on DNA Vaccines Essay

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Vaccines are “one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine”

In developed nations, vaccines have almost exterminated polio and smallpox and tightly controlled diseases like hepatitis A and B or typhus

There are three generations of vaccinations

First generation vaccines are either weakened or killed forms of whole organisms

There is a problem with first-gen vaccines: the pathogens can still revert to dangerous forms and cause diseases in immunocompromised vaccine recipients.

Second generation vaccines are specific protein antigens, which are safer, but cannot generate killer T cell responses
DNA Vaccines

Third generation of vaccines

Consist of recombinant plasmids that have been transformed to produce one to two proteins form a pathogen

This DNA is injected directly into somatic cells, where, through transcription and translation, the proteins are created.

The proteins are recognized as foreign and processed by the cell and displayed on the cell surface by MHC markers

Here, they raise helper T cell, cytotoxic T cell, and antibody immune responses.
Current applications

DNA vaccines have had limited success in clinical trials

A veterinary DNA vaccines for use on horses to protect from West Nile virus has been approved

In June 2006 and August 2007, positive results were announced for vaccines against bird flu and multiple sclerosis, respectively.

The technique still needs to proven conclusively in human testing
Use of Plasmid Vectors

Highly active expression vectors elicit the best immune response

Strong viral promoters, such as Rous Sarcoma virus (RSV) or cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoters are most commonly used

The plasmids most commonly used als...

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Baker, Barbara, et. al. “The N gene of tobacco confers resistance to tobacco mosaic virus in transgenic tomato.”Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States93 (1996) 8776–8781.

Feldstein, Paul. Personal interview. July 2008.
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