[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development and widespread use of DNA-based vaccination against infectious pathogens have been a great triumph of medical science. Quality control of DNA vaccines as biopharmaceutical productions is a problem to solve. Residual genomic DNA of engineering bacteria has been identified as a potential risk factor, so whose level must be controlled under the regulatory standards. We report a dot-blot hybridization method to detect residual host cell DNA in purified DNA vaccines. The assay utilizes PCR amplified and digoxigenin-labeled Escherichia coli 16S rRNA gene as probe. The sensitivity of the dot-blot hybridization assay with E. coli 16S rRNA gene probe was evaluated in comparison with single copy UidR gene probe. The optimized dot-blot hybridization assay had both low background and a suitable sensitivity, detecting 10 pg of residual E. coli DNA. The method is suitable in the routine use of measuring the levels of residual E. coli DNA in the pharmaceutical-grade DNA vaccine.