Recombinant DNA Vaccine

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Enzo Paoletti and Dennis Panicali at the New York State department of Health, devised a Strategy to produce recombinant DNA vaccines by using genetic engineering techniques. They were able to transform ordinary smallpox vaccine into vaccines that may be able to prevent other diseases.

What Paoletti and his colleague, Virologist Dennis Panicali, set out to do was to alter the DNA of cowpox virus by inserting a gene from another virus (namely herpes, hepatitis B or influenza). These efforts resulted, amongst others in the development of a commercial Hepatitis B vaccine which is now widely used. HPV vaccine is another notable recombinant DNA vaccine.





Time Magazine article on Paoletti's work

Article on Paoletti's work

Paoletti's vaccine for herpes



  • Paoletti, Enzo, Bernard R. Lipinskas, Carol Samsonoff, Susan Mercer, and Dennis Panicali (1984) "Construction of Live Vaccines Using Genetically Engineered Poxviruses: Biological Activity of Vaccinia Virus Recombinants Expressing the Hepatitis B Virus Surface Antigen and the Herpes Simplex Virus Glycoprotein D" Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 81:193-197
  • Panicali, Dennis, Stephen W. Davis, Randall L. Weinberg, Enzo Paoletti (1983) "Construction of Live Vaccines by Using Genetically Engineered Poxviruses: Biological Activity of Recombinant Vaccinia Virus Expressing Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin" Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 80:5364-5368
  • US Patent 4722848 - Method for immunizing animals with synthetically modified vaccinia virus