Virus-Like Particles as Efficient Delivery Platform to Induce a Potent Immune Response

  • Fabien Rebeaud
  • Martin BachmannEmail author


Virus-like particles (VLPs) are spontaneously formed structures upon self-assembly of viral capsid proteins. Similar to viruses, VLPs have a repetitive surface structure and an optimal size to induce potent immune responses. In contrast to viruses, VLPs are devoid of viral genetic material and are therefore replication-deficient and non-pathogenic. Their unique advantages in terms of safety and immunogenicity together with their high versatility make VLPs an attractive vaccine-technology. Using various strategies, virtually any kind of molecule can be presented to the immune system on the surface of VLPs. This offers a broad spectrum of applications, ranging from the development of classical prophylactic vaccines to therapeutic vaccines against non-communicable diseases and even vaccines for the treatment of smoking addiction. With the registration of VLP-based prophylactic vaccines against Hepatitis B virus and Human papilloma virus, this vaccination strategy has proven its viability in the vaccines market. This chapter focuses on the different strategies existing for developing VLP vaccines, gives an overview of the VLP vaccine candidates currently clinically tested, thereby highlighting the successes and risks linked to the development of these immunotherapies.


Virus-like particles Vaccine delivery Infectious disease Humoral immunity Cellular immunity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cytos Biotechnology AGSchlierenSwitzerland
  2. 2.DermatologyUniversity HospitalZürichSwitzerland

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