MDPI, Pharmaceutics, 1(12), p. 30, 2020
DNA vaccines offer a flexible and versatile platform to treat innumerable diseases due to the ease of manipulating vaccine targets simply by altering the gene sequences encoded in the plasmid DNA delivered. The DNA vaccines elicit potent humoral and cell-mediated responses and provide a promising method for treating rapidly mutating and evasive diseases such as cancer and human immunodeficiency viruses. Although this vaccine technology has been available for decades, there is no DNA vaccine that has been used in bed-side application to date. The main challenge that hinders the progress of DNA vaccines and limits their clinical application is the delivery hurdles to targeted immune cells, which obstructs the stimulation of robust antigen-specific immune responses in humans. In this updated review, we discuss various nanodelivery systems that improve DNA vaccine technologies to enhance the immunological response against target diseases. We also provide possible perspectives on how we can bring this exciting vaccine technology to bedside applications.