Self replicating nanoparticles which auto-assemble and package specific DNA sequences (bacteriophages) as vaccine delivery vehicles
J. Clark, J. March
BigDNA Ltd., UK
Keywords: bacteriophage, lambda, DNA, vaccines
Abstract:We have used bacteriophage lambda as a DNA vaccine delivery vehicle. The genetic material encoding a vaccine antigen is cloned into the bacteriophage genome and whole phage particles are delivered. The vaccinated human or animal’s own cells become vaccine producing factories. Advantages of this method over standard DNA vaccination are that the phage protein coat protects the DNA, and the hosts immune system rapidly clears the phage particles to sites of antigen presentation where expression of the vaccine antigen is more efficacious. Additionally, bacteriophages are cheap and easy to produce in using standard bacterial cultures, they are very stable for storage/transport and new vaccines can be developed relatively quickly. As the basic phage nanoparticle is easy to modify, in future we will develop vaccines which, in addition to a DNA vaccine, display vaccine antigens as coat protein fusions. Alternatively, targeting sequences can be incorporated into the phage coat to target vaccines to specific cell types.