Bacterial Ghosts as Vaccine and Drug Delivery Platforms
Ulrike Beate Mayr, Verena Juliana Koller, Petra Lubitz and Werner Lubitz
The Bacterial Ghost (BG) Vaccine Platform Technology represents a particulate carrier system for protein subunit or DNA‑encoded antigens endowed with intrinsic adjuvant properties. By all its biological background BG vaccines alert the immune system with signals for a bacterial infection and induce innate and adaptive immune responses against the antigens. Presentation of subunit vaccines within the BG complex is of advantage for the recognition of the target antigens by the immune system. Delivered as particle, to facilitate the uptake by professional antigen presenting cells (APC), BG satisfy the requirement of naturally furnished adjuvant particles for submit vaccine candidates. Such BG particles have a surface make‑up which is not denatured and their surface adhesins are fully functional for the interaction with cellular receptors of APCs to induce the release of natural danger signals and cytokines characteristic for infections with real pathogens. The specificity for targeting tissues or cells, the easy method of production and the versatility in entrapping and packaging various compounds in different compartments of BG can be used for the creation of Advanced Drug Delivery Systems (ADDS). The original targeting functions of BG enable them to bind to and/or are being taken up by specific cells or tissues of animal, human or plant origin. The BG system represents a platform technology for creating new qualities in nonliving carriers which can be used for the specific targeting of drugs, DNA or other active compounds such as tumour cytostatics to overcome toxic or non desired obstacles. The new system is an alternative to liposomes and may have an advantage to its higher specificity for targeting different tissues, its easy way of production and its versatility in entrapping and packaging various compounds in different compartments of the carriers.