Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A DNA vaccine against the hepatitis B virus (HBV) was evaluated for safety and induction of immune responses in 12 healthy, hepatitis-naïve human volunteers using the needle-free PowderJect system to deliver gold particles coated with DNA directly into cells of the skin. Three groups of four volunteers received three administrations of DNA encoding the surface antigen of HBV at one of the three dose levels (1, 2, or 4 microg). The vaccine was safe and well tolerated, causing only transient and mild to moderate responses at the site of administration. HBV-specific antibody and both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses were measured before and after each immunization. All the volunteers developed protective antibody responses of at least 10 mIU/ml. In volunteers who were positive for the HLA class I A2 allele, the vaccine also induced antigen-specific CD8+ T cells that bound HLA-A2/HBsAg(335-343) tetramers, secreted IFN-gamma, and lysed target cells presenting a hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) CTL epitope. Enumeration of HBsAg-specific T cells producing cytokine indicated preferential induction of a Type 1 T helper cell response. These results provide the first demonstration of a DNA vaccine inducing protective antibody titers and both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses in humans.


Journal article



Publication Date





764 - 778


Adult, Biolistics, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Female, Gold, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis B Antibodies, Hepatitis B Surface Antigens, Hepatitis B Vaccines, Hepatitis B virus, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Particle Size, Plasmids, Safety, T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer, Vaccines, DNA