CpG DNA overcomes hyporesponsiveness to hepatitis B vaccine in orangutans

Vaccine. 2000 Mar 17;18(18):1920-4. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(99)00443-0.


Oligonucleotides containing immunostimulatory CpG motifs (CpG ODN) have been shown to be potent Th1-type adjuvants for augmenting antigen-specific responses in mice against hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). The hepatitis B virus (HBV) infects only humans and great apes and appears to exist among wild chimpanzees and orangutans. An outbreak of HBV among orangutans being rehabilitated for re-introduction to the jungle caused the death of several animals. A prophylactic vaccination program revealed that orangutans are quite hypo-responsive to a current commercial vaccine compared to results obtained previously in humans and chimpanzees. Addition of CpG ODN to hepatitis B vaccine greatly increased the seroconversion rate and the titers of antibody against HBsAg (anti-HBs). This is the first demonstration of CpG DNA in a great ape and the results have important implications for the vaccination of humans against HBV and other diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Ape Diseases / immunology*
  • Ape Diseases / prevention & control
  • CpG Islands / immunology*
  • DNA / immunology*
  • DNA / therapeutic use*
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / biosynthesis
  • Hepatitis B / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control
  • Hepatitis B / veterinary
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / immunology
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / immunology*
  • Immune Tolerance / drug effects*
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / immunology
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / therapeutic use
  • Pongo pygmaeus


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • DNA