REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0310.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: DNA vaccine; HIV-1; enhancer element; circovirus; dose sparing; immunogenicity
Online: 27 May 2019 (10:25:38 CEST)
DNA vaccines are stable, safe, cost effective to produce and relatively quick and easy to manufacture. However, to date DNA vaccines have shown relatively poor immunogenicity in humans despite promising preclinical results. Consequently, a number of different approaches have been investigated to improve the immunogenicity of DNA vaccines. These include the use of improved delivery methods, adjuvants, stronger promoters and enhancer elements to increase antigen expression, and codon optimization of the gene of interest. This review describes the creation and use of a DNA vaccine vector containing a porcine circovirus (PCV-1) enhancer element that significantly increases recombinant antigen expression and immunogenicity and allows for dose sparing. A 172bp region containing the PCV-1 capsid protein promoter (Pcap) and a smaller element (PC; 70 bp) within this were found to be equally effective. DNA vaccines containing the Pcap region expressing various HIV-1 antigens were found to be highly immunogenic in mice, rabbits and macaques, at 4 to 10-fold lower doses than normally used and to be highly effective in heterologous prime-boost regimens. By lowering the amount of DNA used for immunization, safety concerns over injecting large amounts of DNA into humans can be overcome.