The subject of this 3M Purification Application Brief is filtration applied in vaccine production. Vaccines are derived from a variety of sources including tissue extracts, bacterial cells, virus particles, recombinant mammalian, yeast and insect cell produced proteins and nucleic acids. Typically, vaccines are produced to treat the general population, however, vaccines can be tailor made to treat specific individuals. Veterinary vaccines also have important economic significance in the protection of animal stocks.
All vaccines have at least two common elements: they must be immunogenic and they must be produced in a highly purified formable to be safely administered to recipients. Vaccines typically employ an immunogen, a molecule which when injected into the body causes the body to recognize it as foreign and to raise an immune response against the intruding molecule. The vaccine substance can be a whole particle such as a virus or bacterial cell, a membrane fragment from a bacterial cell wall, a portion of the capsule layer surrounding a bacteria, nucleic acid (RNA, DNA) coding for a disease causing protein, certain proteins associated with disease or receptors or other cell surface markers. When whole cell or virus vaccine therapies are used, the injected material can be live or attenuated such that the injected form does not cause a severe case of the disease the vaccine is designed to prevent. Attenuation can be done by chemical treatment or genetic modification of the vaccine agent.