Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Penn animal study identifies new DNA weapon against avian flu

03.07.2008
Broad application of DNA vaccine could allow for quick mobilization during an epidemic

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have identified a potential new way to vaccinate against avian flu. By delivering vaccine via DNA constructed to build antigens against flu, along with a minute electric pulse, researchers have immunized experimental animals against various strains of the virus. This approach could allow for the build up of vaccine reserves that could be easily and effectively dispensed in case of an epidemic. This study was published last week in PLoS ONE.

"This is the first study to show that a single DNA vaccine can induce protection against strains of pandemic flu in many animal models, including primates," says David B. Weiner, Ph.D., Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. "With this type of vaccine, we can generate a single construct of a pandemic flu vaccine that will give much broader protection."

Traditional vaccines expose a formulation of a specific strain of flu to the body so it can create immune responses against that specific strain. Conversely, a DNA vaccine becomes part of the cell, giving it the blueprint it needs to build antigens that can induce responses that target diverse strains of pandemic flu.

... more about:
»Antigen »DNA »Vaccine »avian »immune »pandemic

Avian flu is tricky. Not only is it deadly, but it mutates quickly, generating different strains that escape an immune response targeted against one single strain. Preparing effective vaccines for pandemic flu in advance with either live or killed viruses, which protect against only one or few cross-strains, is therefore very difficult. How to predict which strain of avian flu may appear at any time is difficult. "We are always behind in creating a vaccine that can effectively protect against that specific strain," notes Weiner.

Instead of injecting a live or killed virus, Penn researchers injected three different species of animal models with synthetic DNA vaccines that are not taken from the flu microbe, but trick the immune system into mounting a broad response against pandemic flu, including strains to which the immune system was never exposed. Antibodies induced by the vaccine rapidly reached protective levels in all three animal species.

"The synthetic DNA vaccines designed in this study customize the antigen to induce more broad immune responses against the pathogen," says Weiner.

Researchers found evidence of two types of immune responses – T lymphocytes and antibodies -- in all three types of animal models. Two types of animal models (mice and ferrets) were protected from both disease and mortality when exposed to avian flu.

To ensure increased DNA delivery, the researchers administered the vaccine in combination with electroporation, a small, harmless electric charge that opens up cell pores facilitating increased entry of the DNA vaccine into cells.

If proven in humans, this research could lead the way to preparing against an outbreak of avian flu. Because these synthetic DNA vaccines are effective against multiple cross strains, vaccines could be created, stockpiled, prior to a pandemic, and thus be delivered quickly in the event of an outbreak, surmise the researchers.

This study has shown other advantages of DNA vaccines. On one hand, killed vaccines, which involve the injection of a dead portion of a virus, are relatively safe but usually effective at producing only a strong cellular immunity. Live vaccines, which involve the injection of a form of a live virus, can have increased manufacturing and some safety issues. Both of these vaccine strategies may have concerns in persons with certain allergies (egg for example) as current manufacturing methods rely on egg based production technologies. On the other hand, DNA vaccines preclude the need to create live tissue samples, which presents risk to those working with the virus.

"DNA vaccines have the benefits and avoid many conceptual negatives of other types of traditional vaccines," says Weiner.

This research also has implications for non-avian types of flu. Every year, scientists try to guess what strain of the year will be that creates the common flu. Sometimes their educated guess is wrong, which is why last year's influenza vaccine worked only 30 percent of the time. Designing traditional vaccines in combination with the DNA platform may be a partial solution to this dilemma, predicts Weiner.

Karen Kreeger | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu
http://www.pennhealth.com/news

Further reports about: Antigen DNA Vaccine avian immune pandemic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells
22.08.2017 | National University Health System

nachricht Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression
22.08.2017 | Umea University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>