Volume 8 Number 3, May/June 1998, pp. 153-159
DNA vaccines: Will they deliver?
Boyle JS, Agius CT, Lew AM1 and Barr IG
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A new form of vaccination using DNA as the vaccine instead
of protein or attenuated
pathogens has the potential to revolutionise the way vaccines are
made and used. Based on
administering purified plasmid DNA, these vaccines have shown
remarkable promise in
numerous animal models for the prevention of several important
human diseases. The use of
DNA as a vaccine raises several questions including the basic
questions of just how do they
work to stimulate an immune response, many of which we are only
beginning to understand.
In addition to efficacy, there are also several safety issues
that will have to be addressed
prior to large scale testing in humans. Given the excitement
surrounding this new technology,
the overriding question is whether they will deliver some or
indeed any of their potential benefits to mankind.
Copyright 1998 Australian Biotechnology Association Ltd.