Safety assessment of biolistic DNA vaccination

Methods Mol Biol. 2013:940:371-88. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-110-3_27.


DNA-based vector systems have been widely studied as new modalities for the prevention and treatment of human diseases. As for all other medicinal products, safety is an important aspect in the evaluation of such products. In this chapter we reflect on the basic safety issues which have been raised with respect to preventive and therapeutic DNA vaccines, including insertional mutagenesis in case of chromosomal integration, possible formation of anti-DNA antibodies, induction of autoimmune responses and/or immunological tolerance. In addition, local reactions at the site of administration and adverse effects resulting from plasmid DNA spread to nontarget tissues are discussed. Most importantly, however, the benefit-risk profile of a medicinal product is crucial for a decision on providing marketing authorization or not. A product has an acceptable benefit-risk profile if the benefits of the product outweigh its risks for the treated patient.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity / genetics
  • Autoimmunity / immunology
  • Biolistics / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / genetics
  • Immune Tolerance / immunology
  • Safety*
  • Vaccination / adverse effects*
  • Vaccination / instrumentation*
  • Vaccines, DNA / administration & dosage*
  • Vaccines, DNA / adverse effects
  • Vaccines, DNA / genetics
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology*
  • Vaccines, DNA / pharmacokinetics


  • Vaccines, DNA