What are peptide-based vaccines?

Peptide-based vaccines are composed of synthetic amino acids corresponding to distinct epitopes found in specific antigens. Regular vaccines contain a weakened or inactivated form of a pathogen, and white blood cells recognize molecular surface antigens on this pathogen to facilitate the development of immunity. Peptide-based vaccines take advantage of this principle but drive immunity against antigens rather than whole pathogens.1 This prevents mutation risk or toxin accumulation which can arise from pathogenic contamination, as well as reducing inoculation-based side effects. Finally, this platform offers greater flexibility in terms of manipulating the peptide structure of the antigen epitope when it comes to modifying strains or microorganism serotypes. Additional information on immunotherapy and related topics can be found in our resource center.

1. J. Ohtake and T. Sasada, "Are peptide vaccines viable in combination with other cancer immunotherapies?" Future Oncol 13(18):1577-1580, 2017.