Overcoming pre-existing adenovirus immunity by genetic engineering of adenovirus-based vectors

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2009 Dec;9(12):1521-31. doi: 10.1517/14712590903307388.


Adenovirus (Ad)-based vectors offer several benefits showing their potential for use in a variety of vaccine applications. Recombinant Ad-based vaccines possess potent immunogenic potential, capable of generating humoral and cellular immune responses to a variety of pathogen-specific antigens expressed by the vectors. Ad5 vectors can be readily produced, allowing for usage in thousands of clinical trial subjects. This is now coupled with a history of safe clinical use in the vaccine setting. However, traditional Ad5-based vaccines may not be generating optimal antigen-specific immune responses, and generate diminished antigen-specific immune responses when pre-existing Ad5 immunity is present. These limitations have driven initiation of several approaches to improve the efficacy of Ad-based vaccines, and/or allow modified vaccines to overcome pre-existing Ad immunity. These include: generation of chemically modified Ad5 capsids; generation of chimeric Ads; complete replacement of Ad5-based vaccine platforms with alternative (human and non-human origin) Ad serotypes, and Ad5 genome modification approaches that attempt to retain the native Ad5 capsid, while simultaneously improving the efficacy of the platform as well as minimizing the effect of pre-existing Ad immunity. Here we discuss recent advances in- and limitations of each of these approaches, relative to their abilities to overcome pre-existing Ad immunity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Adenoviridae / genetics*
  • Adenoviridae / immunology
  • Animals
  • Capsid Proteins / genetics
  • Genetic Engineering*
  • Genetic Vectors* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / genetics*
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • hexon capsid protein, Adenovirus