DNA Vaccine are the contemporary approach to vaccination, referred to as third-generation vaccines. It involves directly injecting engineered DNA sequences that contain appropriate encoding antigens to produce a desired immunological response. Before DNA vaccines were innovated, scientists followed two traditional vaccination approaches.
The first was to introduce particular antigens in the body so the immune system could react directly. The second is to introduce inactive or weak infectious agents that replicate the host and stimulate the immune system s reaction against the disease-causing agent.
How does a DNA Vaccine work?
A DNA vaccine uses DNA plasmid to translate the viruses or the bacteria s gene particle into a form of protein that your immune system can recognize as a foreign substance. Triggering your body s immune system to produce antibodies to fight the foreign proteins inhibits them from attacking your cells and ultimately destroying them. The vaccine also trains your immune system to identify the same foreign substance to protect your body from future diseases and infections. DNA plasmid is relatively safe, stable, and inexpensive, making it an excellent non-viral agent for gene delivery. Examples of virus vectors used to source pDNA are lentiviruses, once-retroviruses, adenoviruses, etc.
Advantages of DNA Vaccines
• Easy to store and transport: DNA vaccines are comparatively more stable than other types of vaccines. Unlike traditional mRNA vaccines, DNA vaccines don t need low temperatures for storage.
• Rapidly developed: It is significantly simpler to make a massive gene than to produce proteins or cultivate viruses and bacteria. Speed is essential while developing vaccines as these infectious agents can mutate and spread rapidly.
• Cheaper and Large-scale manufacturing: It is economical to produce and purify a considerably larger amount of DNA from bacteria or viruses than to create traditional vaccines. It makes DNA vaccines ideal for large-scale manufacturing.
Future of DNA vaccines
• The field of DNA vaccines is progressing rapidly. Clinical trials to test the potency and effect of certain DNA vaccines in humans have started.
• The first DNA vaccines licensed of marketing are most likely to use pDNA derived from bacterial cells.
• There are set guidelines to indicate suitable methods for manufacturing and controlling plasmid DNA vaccines.
• The guidelines also require manufacturers to submit a detailed and accurate report to national authorities. The report should include information about the production of vaccines so that they can be authorized for marketing/clinical trials.
DNA vaccines have great scientific potential in saving millions of lives in future. Due to their stability and easy-to-store property, DNA vaccines can be distributed to remote regions of the world.
FAQs on DNA Vaccine
Q 1. What is the difference between DNA and traditional vaccines?
Ans. DNA vaccines are made from using the genetic material of the virus or bacteria. Traditional vaccines are made using weak/inactive viruses or bacteria or parts of them like sugars and proteins.
Q 2. State the difference between DNA vaccines and mRNA vaccines
And. DNA vaccines push genetic messages into a cell via an electrical impulse, while mRNA vaccines don t require an electrical impulse to transmit the message.
Q 3. Are there any DNA vaccines currently in use?
Even though there s rapid progress in developing DNA vaccines, we still know little about their effectiveness in humans. That s why there are currently no DNA vaccines approved for humans yet.
Q 4. Can DNA vaccines affect a human s genes
Ans. The present study has found a potential risk that DNA vaccines can permanently change the natural DNA sequence of a cell.