Covid-19: a DNA vaccine

Of all the vaccines developed at the Institut Pasteur for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), the DNA vaccine undoubtedly involves the most novel approach, since no vaccine using this technology has yet been commercialized* (for humans).


The principle is to inject a DNA fragment into human cells. These cells recognize the DNA fragment and transcribe it into an RNA fragment capable of inducing production of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This virus surface protein, which forms spikes all over the viral envelope, is the entry key that allows the virus into cells.

With this DNA vaccine, our cells temporarily become factories producing the spike protein. The protein is then recognized by the immune system, which responds, for example by producing antibodies to neutralize it and prevent infection.

This vaccine approach has obtained promising results in tests on animal models. Clinical trials have not yet begun.

*Received marketing authorization

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