Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

DNA-based Vaccine Shows Promise Against Avian Flu

Date:
October 5, 2008
Source:
Rockefeller University
Summary:
Though it has fallen from the headlines, a global pandemic caused by bird flu still has the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on high alert. Yet, to date, the only vaccines that have proven even semi-effective are produced in chicken eggs, take five to six months to prepare and act against a single variant of the H5N1 virus, which mutates incredibly quickly.

Though it has fallen from the headlines, a global pandemic caused by bird flu still has the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on high alert. Yet, to date, the only vaccines that have proven even semi-effective are produced in chicken eggs, take five to six months to prepare and act against a single variant of the H5N1 virus, which mutates incredibly quickly.

Now, new research by scientists in New York and Taiwan has led to a vaccine with the potential to stop most strains of H5N1 flu viruses in their tracks.

David D. Ho, Rockefeller’s Irene Diamond Professor and scientific director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, together with his colleagues at Taiwan’s Academia Sinica, has built a vaccine that stimulates immunity to a broad range of H5N1 viruses in mice by using DNA rather than dead virus particles grown in eggs. Such a vaccine, which consists of plasmid DNA that’s been genetically modified to elicit specific immune responses, is much easier to rapidly modify and produce — critical advantages when racing to prevent an epidemic.

Ho and his collaborators first had to address virus specificity: Because H5N1 viruses are incredibly diverse, and mutate fast, the researchers created a consensus sequence that incorporated all of the conserved parts of the gene encoding the virus’s outer protein. Then they had to figure out how to deliver it.

This is where DNA vaccines often fail. They aren’t very good at making sure the DNA gets where it needs to go. To solve this problem, Ho and his colleagues turned to electroporation, a technique that is just beginning to gain traction in the vaccine world and that, according to preliminary studies, helps increase uptake of the vaccine. By combining their consensus-sequence vaccine with a small electric stimulus, the researchers found that their mouse subjects responded with an incredibly broad immune reaction.

“The immune responses directed to our DNA vaccine seem to be very broad,” Ho says. “It could be that the vaccine in its current form could protect against most of the H5N1 viruses out there.” And even if it can’t, he notes, if a different strain of H5N1 begins to circulate, it should only take a few days to obtain its genetic sequence and adapt the existing vaccine to fight it.

A version of the consensus vaccine is already being produced, Ho says, so that it can move into human clinical trials as quickly as possible. And a separate electroporation study is under way at The Rockefeller University Hospital, this one examining the effectiveness of electroporation combined with a DNA vaccine against HIV.

Reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(36): 13538–13543 (September 9, 2008)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University. "DNA-based Vaccine Shows Promise Against Avian Flu." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081002210914.htm>.
Rockefeller University. (2008, October 5). DNA-based Vaccine Shows Promise Against Avian Flu. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081002210914.htm
Rockefeller University. "DNA-based Vaccine Shows Promise Against Avian Flu." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081002210914.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins