Use of Consensus Sequence as Vaccine Antigen to Enhance Recognition of Virulent Viral Variants

Vaccines for diverse viruses will be most effective when they direct the recipient?s response to recognize the most virulent form of the organism. Scientists at JHU have found that circulating strains of hepatitis C virus (HCV) contain substitutions that render the virus less fit. Therefore, the use of a consensus sequence as a vaccine for HCV would stimulate responses that drive the virus to mutate to a less-fit state, thereby rendering it less able to replicate and easier to eradicate. Furthermore, they have found that these deleterious mutations are located in known T cell epitopes that represent targets of the cellular immune system. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) HCV infection is a leading cause of chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis of the liver. With an estimated 3% of the world's population currently infected with hepatitis C, and approximately 170 million persons at risk of fulminant hepatitis disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes hepatitis C as a global health problem. The current state of the art in developing a vaccine for HCV is to use a circulating strain of HCV as the antigen; the use of a consensus sequence is novel. This invention can be used to design vaccines to prevent or treat HCV infection.

Inventor(s): Ray, Stuart Campbell

Type of Offer: Licensing

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