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Progress in recombinant DNA-derived vaccines for Lassa virus and filoviruses

Grant-Klein, Rebecca J., Altamura, Louis A., Schmaljohn, Connie S.
Virus research 2011 v.162 no.1-2 pp. 148-161
Lassa virus, animals, biosafety, genetic variation, immune response, immune system, infrastructure, markets, pathogenicity, public health, recombinant DNA, vaccine development, vaccines, viruses
Developing vaccines for highly pathogenic viruses such as those causing Lassa, Ebola, and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers is a daunting task due to both scientific and logistical constraints. Scientific hurdles to overcome include poorly defined relationships between pathogenicity and protective immune responses, genetic diversity of viruses, and safety in a target population that includes a large number of individuals with compromised immune systems. Logistical obstacles include the requirement for biosafety level-4 containment to study the authentic viruses, the poor public health infrastructure of the endemic disease areas, and the cost of developing these vaccines for use in non-lucrative markets. Recombinant DNA-based vaccine approaches offer promise of overcoming some of these issues. In this review, we consider the status of various recombinant DNA candidate vaccines against Lassa virus and filoviruses which have been tested in animals.