DNA Vaccines against Biological Warfare Agents – Final Technology Investment Fund Project Report


  1. Wong, J.P.
  2. Nagata, L.P.
  3. Christopher, M.E.
  4. Schmaltz, F.L.
  5. Rayner, G.A.
  6. Zabielski, M.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN);Antwerp Univ, Antwerpen (BELGIUM) Laboratory of Molecular Genetics
Rapid technological advances in genomics and molecular biology have paved the way for exciting and innovative approaches to produce new generation of DNA-based vaccines. This report summarizes the major findings of the development of DNA vaccines against two potential biological threat agents, western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV) and influenza virus. DNA vaccination using plasmid DNA encoding the hemagglutinin gene of influenza A virus was found to completely protect mice against a respiratory challenge with a 5 × LD50 dose of influenza virus, while all unvaccinated mice succumbed to the infection (p < 0.001). When encapsulated in liposomes, the DNA vaccine induced humoral and cell-mediated immune responses, as well as strong mucosal immunity in the respiratory tract, as measured by elevated levels of IgA. When DNA vaccination against WEE virus using a plasmid encoding the structural proteins of the virus was evaluated in mice, the DNA vaccine induced strong protective immunity and protected the animals against an otherwise lethal challenge of a virulent strain of WEE virus. Together, these results provided a clear proof of concept on the efficacy and safety of DNA vaccines in experimental animals. It is suggested that DNA vaccines may provide a valuable alternatives to live or attenuated vaccines for protection against BW agents.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

DNA vaccines;western equine encephalitis virus;influenza virus;biological warfare agents
Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-TR-2003-072 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Aug 2003
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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