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Development of the DNA Vaccine Against HIV/AIDS

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Prof Ustav shall explain how study of the general functions of the papillomavirus proteins led to the development of the DNA plasmid based expression vectors, which were effectively used in vivo. In fact, his group used papillomavirus protein E2 and respective binding sites in the viral genome and engineered recombinant plasmid, which has similar properties to papillomavirus genomes: a) to be maintained as multicopy nuclear extrachromosomal element in the nucleus of the transfected cells for extenden time and b) be transfered to the daughter cells in the similar fashion like papillomavirus genomes. Addition of this papillomavirus genome function generated expression plasmid which produced the produt of interest — HIV1 antigens, at the very much higher level in comparison to conventional vectors and expression is maintained for much longer time in the targeted tissue. Application of such DNA vaccine into HIV1 positive treatment naive patients resulted in induction of anti-HIV specific T-cell immune response, reduction of the viral load up to one order of magnitude and increase in CD4 + cell counts by 20% as shown in phase II clinical study.

This talk is part of the Trinity College Science Society (TCSS) series.

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