Reengineered Poliovirus Proves Effective As Vector For Prompting Key Immune,,Response In A Study With Mice

Researchers led by scientists at UC San Francisco say they have made a significant breakthrough in their attempt to reengineer the poliovirus so that it could some day be used as a transporting mechanism for inducing immunity against disease pathogens in humans.

The finding, reported in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, could ultimately have implications for developing reengineered poliovirus vaccines for HIV, hepatitis B, other viral diseases and cancer, said the senior author of the study, Raul Andino, PhD, an assistant professor of microbiology at UCSF.

Recombinant viruses, engineered with foreign DNA fragments, are considered a promising approach to vaccine development because viruses replicate in a variety of host cell types and, in their natural states, induce responses from the immune system.

Two types of viruses, vaccinia and adenovirus, have already been used to develop recombinant vaccines for a variety of pathogens, but poliovirus could provide an alternative for situations in which these viruses cannot be used, Andino said. Moreover, poliovirus offers the advantages of safety and the ability to induce long-lasting protective immunity. It is also easy to administer orally, is sufficiently low in cost to enable distribution in the developing world, and can induce local immunity at mucus membranes sites. This targeted local immunity, said Andino, could potentially offer protection against respiratory or gastrointestinal pathogens or diseases that gain access through mucosal ports of entry, such as sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

In their study, conducted in mice, the UCSF investigators created a recombinant poliovirus vector that provided the first evidence that the reengineered vehicle could prompt the cell-mediated arm of the immune system into action, issuing a response from CD8 T-cells, which seek out and destroy pathogen-infested cells. Previously, recombinant poliovirus vectors had only

Contact: Jennifer O'Brien
(415) 476-2557
University of California - San Francisco

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