Author(s): Villarreal DO, Talbott KT, Choo DK, Shedlock DJ, Weiner DB
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Abstract The human body has developed an elaborate defense system against microbial pathogens and foreign antigens. However, particular microbes have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to evade immune surveillance, allowing persistence within the human host. In an effort to combat such infections, intensive research has focused on the development of effective prophylactic and therapeutic countermeasures to suppress or clear persistent viral infections. To date, popular therapeutic strategies have included the use of live-attenuated microbes, viral vectors and dendritic-cell vaccines aiming to help suppress or clear infection. In recent years, improved DNA vaccines have now re-emerged as a promising candidate for therapeutic intervention due to the development of advanced optimization and delivery technologies. For instance, genetic optimization of synthetic plasmid constructs and their encoded antigens, in vivo electroporation-mediated vaccine delivery, as well as codelivery with molecular adjuvants have collectively enhanced both transgene expression and the elicitation of vaccine-induced immunity. In addition, the development of potent heterologous prime-boost regimens has also provided significant contributions to DNA vaccine immunogenicity. Herein, the authors will focus on these recent improvements to this synthetic platform in relation to their application in combating persistent virus infection.
This article was published in Expert Rev Vaccines
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination