Submitted to: Nature Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 22, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Vaccination as a means of disease prevention in livestock/poultry production is essential for an economically sound and reliable food animal industry. Vaccines can reduce the signs of disease, horizontal transmission of the infectious agent, and mortality. Reduction of horizontal transmission (herd immunity) is critical for prevention of costly outbreaks of disease that can devastate animal populations and interfere with global and national shipping and marketing. Vaccines have traditionally consisted of killed microorganisms, subunits of microorganisms, or live-attenuated microorganisms. The demonstration that recombinant genes can be used to immunize animals in the absence of a biological vector (DNA vaccination) shows great promise since it provides many of the benefits of live-attenuated vaccines but without some of the risks and limitations. DNA vaccines hold great promise for improving food animal production, especially in areas where pathogens have eluded traditional vaccine or therapeutic intervention. Improved efficacy, driven by continued research, and wide public acceptance will be required for the potential of DNA vaccines to be fully realized.
DNA vaccination is a rapidly developing technology that offers new approaches for the prevention of disease. This technology may permit the production of new vaccines against diseases that have no current vaccine, and may also provide improved vaccines to replace existing products. This review focuses on how DNA vaccination is being developed for use in commercial animal production with an emphasis on viral diseases, and discusses the existing hurdles to their development and use.