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.

Related Articles


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 March 27, 2015 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 March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Two Andean bear cubs are unveiled at the U.S. National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Alicia Powell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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