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Virol Sin ; 37(5): 731-739, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1878406


Latent varicella-zoster virus (VZV) may be reactivated to cause herpes zoster, which affects one in three people during their lifetime. The currently available subunit vaccine Shingrix™ is superior to the attenuated vaccine Zostavax® in terms of both safety and efficacy, but the supply of its key adjuvant component QS21 is limited. With ionizable lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) that were recently approved by the FDA for COVID-19 mRNA vaccines as carriers, and oligodeoxynucleotides containing CpG motifs (CpG ODNs) approved by the FDA for a subunit hepatitis B vaccine as immunostimulators, we developed a LNP vaccine encapsulating VZV-glycoprotein E (gE) and CpG ODN, and compared its immunogenicity with Shingrix™ in C57BL/6J mice. The results showed that the LNP vaccine induced comparable levels of gE-specific IgG antibodies to Shingrix™ as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Most importantly, the LNP vaccine induced comparable levels of cell-mediated immunity (CMI) that plays decisive roles in the efficacy of zoster vaccines to Shingrix™ in a VZV-primed mouse model that was adopted for preclinical studies of Shingrix™. Number of IL-2 and IFN-γ secreting splenocytes and proportion of T helper 1 (Th1) cytokine-expressing CD4+ T cells in LNP-CpG-adjuvanted VZV-gE vaccinated mice were similar to that of Shingrix™ boosted mice. All of the components in this LNP vaccine can be artificially and economically synthesized in large quantities, indicating the potential of LNP-CpG-adjuvanted VZV-gE as a more cost-effective zoster vaccine.

COVID-19 , Herpes Zoster Vaccine , Herpes Zoster , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , Hepatitis B Vaccines , Herpes Zoster/prevention & control , Herpesvirus 3, Human/genetics , Immunoglobulin G , Interleukin-2 , Liposomes , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Nanoparticles , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides , Vaccines, Attenuated , Vaccines, Subunit
Front Immunol ; 13: 882856, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809411


The relatively lower protection rate of the alum-adjuvanted inactivated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines reminds us of the antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) phenomenon observed in preclinical studies during the development of vaccines for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV-1). In this study, using the S1 segment of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein or inactivated whole SARS-CoV-2 virus as an antigen and aluminum as an adjuvant, the risk of ADE of infection with T helper 2 (Th2)-oriented immune serum from mice (N=6) and humans (N=5) was examined in immune cell lines, which show different expression patterns of Fc receptors. Neither the immune serum from alum-adjuvanted S1 subunit vaccines nor inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccination enhanced SARS-CoV-2 S pseudotyped virus infection in any of the tested cell lines in vitro. Because both of these Th2-oriented immune sera could block SARS-CoV-2 infection without ADE of infection, we speculate that the lower protection rate of the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine may be attributed to the lower neutralizing antibody titers induced or the pulmonary eosinophilic immunopathology accompanied by eosinophilic infiltration in the lungs upon virus exposure. Adjustment of the immunization schedule to elevate the neutralizing antibody levels and skew adjuvants toward Th1-oriented responses may be considered to increase the efficacies of both inactivated and spike protein-based subunit SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immune Sera , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination
J Med Virol ; 93(2): 892-898, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-661060


Since its emergence in December 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has developed into a global pandemic within a matter of months. While subunit vaccines are one of the prominent options for combating coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the immunogenicity of spike protein-based antigens remains unknown. When immunized in mice, the S1 domain induced much higher IgG and IgA antibody levels than the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and more efficiently neutralized SARS-CoV-2 when adjuvanted with alum. It is inferred that a large proportion of these neutralization epitopes are located in the S1 domain but outside the RBD and that some of these are spatial epitopes. This finding indicates that expression systems with posttranslational modification abilities are important to maintain the natural configurations of recombinant spike protein antigens and are critical for effective COVID-19 vaccines. Further, adjuvants prone to a Th1 response should be considered for S1-based subunit COVID-19 vaccines to reduce the potential risk of antibody-dependent enhancement of infection.

Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/biosynthesis , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic/administration & dosage , Alum Compounds/administration & dosage , Animals , Antigens, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Immunization , Immunization Schedule , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunoglobulin A/biosynthesis , Immunoglobulin G/biosynthesis , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Protein Domains/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/administration & dosage , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Th1 Cells/drug effects , Th1 Cells/immunology , Th2 Cells/drug effects , Th2 Cells/immunology