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Chimpanzee—and Not Human—Viruses May Carry the Next Vaccine Vector
For years, researchers have attempted to harness the ability of adenoviruses—a family of common viruses—to infect cells in order to use them as “vectors” that may carry vaccines safely into humans. A recent study of four adenovirus \vectors by Hildegund C. J. Ertl, M.D., professor and leader of Wistar’s Immunology Program and director of Wistar’s Vaccine Center, offers evidence that chimpanzee adenoviruses, and not those that typically infect humans, might make for the next generation of vaccine vectors. This study confirms our current line of research that suggests engineered chimpanzee adenovirus vectors could be superior to related, native human adenoviruses,” Ertl said. “Both human and chimpanzee adenoviruses function in similar ways, but the simple benefit is that humans are rarely exposed to adenoviruses of chimpanzee origin.”