Protein Engineering in Vaccine Development
Although generally very efficacious and inexpensive, the chemically detoxified vaccines suffer three major drawbacks:
I. The chemical treatment, causing covalent cross-linking among the free NH2 groups of the amino acid side chains, inevitably perturbs the 3D structure of the vaccine components. It is therefore necessary to identify conditions which from on the one hand fully inactivate molecules and/ or microorganisms which would otherwise be dangerous, and on the other do not completely destroy the structural epitopes relevant for inducing protective immunity.