METHODS: PubMed and Google Scholar were systematically reviewed for peer-reviewed papers up to January 2023.
RESULTS: A promising solution to the problem of emerging variants is a DNA vaccine platform since it can be easily modified. Besides expressing whole protein antigens, DNA vaccines can also be constructed to include specific nucleotide genes encoding highly conserved and immunogenic epitopes from the S protein as well as from other structural/non-structural proteins to develop effective vaccines against VOCs. DNA vaccines are associated with low transfection efficiencies which could be enhanced by chemical, genetic, and molecular adjuvants as well as delivery systems.
CONCLUSIONS: The DNA vaccine platform offers a promising solution to the design of effective vaccines. The challenge of limited immunogenicity in humans might be solved through the use of genetic modifications such as the addition of nuclear localization signal (NLS) peptide gene, strong promoters, MARs, introns, TLR agonists, CD40L, and the development of appropriate delivery systems utilizing nanoparticles to increase uptake by APCs in enhancing the induction of potent immune responses.