Vaccination is the most effective and least expensive technique used for human diseases prevention and eradication. The need for more vaccine doses and the rapid establishment of facilities for the development of new vaccines are stimulating significate changes in the vaccine industry, which is gradually moving towards cell culture production. One approach is the third generation of vaccines, which are based on the use of plasmid DNA (pDNA) containing transgenes that encode an antigen capable of mimicking intracellular pathogenic infection and triggering both humoral and cellular immune responses. Plasmid DNA vaccination has distinct advantages over other vaccine technologies in terms of safety, ease of fabrication and stability. The effectiveness of pDNA vaccines against viruses, bacteria, parasites and cancer cells has been demonstrated in preclinical and clinical assays. Furthermore, currently there are a few veterinary pDNA vaccines in the market. The application of a simple formulation of naked pDNA as a vaccine is attractive, but a low transfection efficiency is often obtained. The use of nanoparticles to increase transfection efficiency is an approach that has been tested clinically. This review provides a summary of vaccine production, advances and major challenges associated with pDNA lipid and polymeric nanovaccines applications.
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- Plasmid DNA