Virus like particle-based vaccines against emerging infectious disease viruses
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- Liu, J., Dai, S., Wang, M. et al. Virol. Sin. (2016) 31: 279. doi:10.1007/s12250-016-3756-y
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Emerging infectious diseases are major threats to human health. Most severe viral disease outbreaks occur in developing regions where health conditions are poor. With increased international travel and business, the possibility of eventually transmitting infectious viruses between different countries is increasing. The most effective approach in preventing viral diseases is vaccination. However, vaccines are not currently available for numerous viral diseases. Virus-like particles (VLPs) are engineered vaccine candidates that have been studied for decades. VLPs are constructed by viral protein expression in various expression systems that promote the selfassembly of proteins into structures resembling virus particles. VLPs have antigenicity similar to that of the native virus, but are non-infectious as they lack key viral genetic material. VLP vaccines have attracted considerable research interest because they offer several advantages over traditional vaccines. Studies have shown that VLP vaccines can stimulate both humoral and cellular immune responses, which may offer effective antiviral protection. Here we review recent developments with VLP-based vaccines for several highly virulent emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases. The infectious agents discussed include RNA viruses from different virus families, such as the Arenaviridae, Bunyaviridae, Caliciviridae, Coronaviridae, Filoviridae, Flaviviridae, Orthomyxoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, and Togaviridae families.