Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Virology. Aug 12, 2015; 4(3): 156-168
Published online Aug 12, 2015. doi: 10.5501/wjv.v4.i3.156
Novel antigen delivery systems
Maria Trovato, Piergiuseppe De Berardinis
Maria Trovato, Piergiuseppe De Berardinis, Institute of Protein Biochemistry, National Research Council, 80131 Naples, Italy
Author contributions: All authors contributed to this paper and they approved the final version of the article.
Supported by The grants from Nos. NIH R01AI AI074379 and MIUR-PON 01_00117.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Piergiuseppe De Berardinis, PhD, Institute of Protein Biochemistry, National Research Council, Via Pietro Castellino 111, 80131 Naples, Italy. p.deberardinis@ibp.cnr.it
Telephone: +39-081-6132566
Received: January 26, 2015
Peer-review started: February 5, 2015
First decision: April 27, 2015
Revised: June 23, 2015
Accepted: July 29, 2015
Article in press: August 3, 2015
Published online: August 12, 2015

Vaccines represent the most relevant contribution of immunology to human health. However, despite the remarkable success achieved in the past years, many vaccines are still missing in order to fight important human pathologies and to prevent emerging and re-emerging diseases. For these pathogens the known strategies for making vaccines have been unsuccessful and thus, new avenues should be investigated to overcome the failure of clinical trials and other important issues including safety concerns related to live vaccines or viral vectors, the weak immunogenicity of subunit vaccines and side effects associated with the use of adjuvants. A major hurdle of developing successful and effective vaccines is to design antigen delivery systems in such a way that optimizes antigen presentation and induces broad protective immune responses. Recent advances in vector delivery technologies, immunology, vaccinology and system biology, have led to a deeper understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which vaccines should stimulate both arms of the adaptive immune responses, offering new strategies of vaccinations. This review is an update of current strategies with respect to live attenuated and inactivated vaccines, DNA vaccines, viral vectors, lipid-based carrier systems such as liposomes and virosomes as well as polymeric nanoparticle vaccines and virus-like particles. In addition, this article will describe our work on a versatile and immunogenic delivery system which we have studied in the past decade and which is derived from a non-pathogenic prokaryotic organism: the “E2 scaffold” of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex from Geobacillus stearothermophilus.

Keywords: Vaccines, Antigen display, Delivery systems, E2 scaffold, Immune response

Core tip: Several promising strategies of vaccination have been proposed over the past years to treat and/or prevent infectious and cancer diseases. These include live attenuated or inactivated viral vaccines, recombinant viral vectors, DNA vaccines, subunit vaccines, nanoparticle carriers, and lipid-based delivery systems such as liposomes and virosomes. Although some of these suffer from certain limitations (e.g., safety concerns, weak immunogenicity, adverse side-effects associated with adjuvants), recent advances in vaccine technology have provided further insights for guiding vaccine design. Here, we review the current status of antigen delivery systems with emphasis on a versatile and immunogenic vaccine delivery candidate: the “E2 scaffold”.