Adenoviruses as gene/vaccine delivery vectors: promises and pitfalls.
Vaccination is mankind's greatest public health success story. By now vaccines to many of the viruses that once caused fatal childhood diseases are routinely used throughout the world. Traditional methods of vaccine development through inactivation or attenuation of viruses have failed for some of the most deadly human pathogens, necessitating new approaches. Genetic modification of viruses not only allows for their attenuation but also for incorporation of sequences from other viruses, turning one pathogen into a vaccine carrier for another. Recombinant viruses have pros and cons as vaccine carriers, as discussed below using vectors based on adenovirus, herpesvirus, flavivirus, and rhabdovirus as examples.