What happens to the DNA vaccine in fish? A review of current knowledge

Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2008 Jul;25(1-2):1-18. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2008.03.007. Epub 2008 Mar 19.


The primary function of DNA vaccines, a bacterial plasmid DNA containing a construct for a given protective antigen, is to establish specific and long-lasting protective immunity against diseases where conventional vaccines fail to induce protection. It is acknowledged that less effort has been made to study the fate, in terms of cellular uptake, persistence and degradation, of DNA vaccines after in vivo administration. However, during the last year some papers have given new insights into the fate of DNA vaccines in fish. By comparing the newly acquired information in fish with similar knowledge from studies in mammals, similarities with regard to transport, blood clearance, cellular uptake and degradation of DNA vaccines have been found. But the amount of DNA vaccine redistributed from the administration site after intramuscular administration seems to differ between fish and mammals. This review presents up-to-date and in-depth knowledge concerning the fate of DNA vaccines with emphasis on tissue distribution, cellular uptake and uptake mechanism(s) before finally describing the intracellular hurdles that DNA vaccines need to overcome in order to produce their gene product.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Endocytosis
  • Fishes / immunology*
  • Plasmids / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology*
  • Vaccines, DNA / metabolism*
  • Vaccines, DNA / therapeutic use


  • Vaccines, DNA
  • DNA