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Peptide or subunit vaccines (antigens) are safer than attenuated vaccines. However, peptide vaccines are less immunogenic and require large multiple doses of peptides plus exogenous adjuvants to elicit an immune response. The immunogenicity of peptide antigens can be enhanced if the peptides are immunized in the context of an antigen complex that mimics a virus in terms of size, morphology, and adjuvanticity. Virus-like particles (VLPs) derived from bacteriophages (PP7, MS2, and Qβ) possess these features and as such, they are excellent platforms for peptide vaccine designs. In this seminar, I will discuss how we have exploited these platforms to enhance the immunogenicity of less immunogenic but critical protective epitopes derived from viruses associated with pathogenic human infections such as human papillomaviruses, Zika virus, etc.



Vaccines against infectious agents

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Biology Commons



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