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Current Drug Therapy


ISSN (Print): 1574-8855
ISSN (Online): 2212-3903

Genetically Modified Hepatitis B Surface Antigen: A Powerful Vaccine Technology for the Delivery of Disease-Associated Foreign Antigens

Author(s): Scott Thomson, Oscar Haigh, Allan Gould and Robert Tindle

Volume 3, Issue 3, 2008

Page: [226 - 234] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/157488508785747844

Price: $65


The surface antigen of hepatitis B virus (HBsAg) spontaneously aggregates into ‘empty’ virus-like particles (VLPs) in the absence of other viral components. The powerful immunogenicity of HBsAg when administered either as VLPs or as naked DNA invites its exploitation as a vector for the delivery of antigenic determinants from other organisms. Here we discuss ways in which HBsAg may be modified to derive vaccines against disease-related pathogens. We review studies demonstrating the induction of disease-protective antibody and T-cell responses induced by immunization with recombinant HBsAg vaccines, and consider how these vaccines might best be delivered. Unmodified HBsAg VLPs are licensed for use in humans as the pan-global vaccine to prevent hepatitis B virus infection, suggesting that route-tomarket for recombinant HBsAg vaccines might be simplified.

Keywords: Hepatitis B surface antigen, vaccine, DNA, virus-like particle, cytotoxic T-cell, antibody

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