A Collaborative Approach to the Design of a Genetically-Stable Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV-2)

Investigator: Raul Andino-Pavlovsky, PhD
Sponsor: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Location(s): United States


The advent of recombinant DNA technology has opened a new avenue for the development of Oral Polio Vaccine seed stocks of enhanced genetic uniformity. Thus the RNA used to transfect cultured cells is more homogenous, and the seed stocks have uniform biologic properties.

Replication-competent recombinant viruses, particularly replication-competent recombinant polioviruses, which include (1) exogenous nucleic acid sequences which encode an exogenous polypeptide and (2) a nucleic acid sequence which encodes an artificial proteolytic cleavage site for a viral or cellular protease which proteolytically processes (cleaves) the precursor protein produced by the parent virus and uses therefor. The recombinant precursor is cleaved into the usual array of constituent proteins, freeing the exogenous polypeptide. Replication-competent recombinant viruses are useful as vaccines against bacterial, viral, fungal and yeast infections, parasitic diseases, cancer and allergies.