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BMJ Open ; 12(9): e061172, 2022 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2029502


INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major concern worldwide; however, easily accessible treatment options for patients with mild COVID-19 remain limited. Since the oral intake of Lactococcus lactis strain plasma (LC-Plasma) enhances both the innate and acquired immune systems through the activation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), we hypothesised that the oral intake of LC-Plasma could aid the relief or prevention of symptoms in patients with asymptomatic or mild COVID-19. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is an exploratory, multicentre, double-blinded, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. This study was initiated in December 2021 and concludes in April 2023. The planned number of enrolled subjects is 100 (50 subjects×2 groups); subject enrolment will be conducted until October 2022. Patients with asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 will be enrolled and randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to group A (oral intake of LC-Plasma-containing capsule, 200 mg/day, for 14 days) or group B (oral intake of placebo capsule, for 14 days). The primary endpoint is the change in subjective symptoms measured by the severity score. Secondary endpoints include SARS-CoV-2 viral loads, biomarkers for pDC activation, serum SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies, serum cytokines, interferon and interferon-inducible antiviral effectors and the proportion of subjects with emergency room visits to medical institutions or who are hospitalised. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study protocol was approved by the Clinical Research Review Board of Nagasaki University, in accordance with the Clinical Trials Act of Japan. The study will be conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, the Clinical Trials Act, and other current legal regulations in Japan. Written informed consent will be obtained from all the participants. The results of this study will be reported in journal publications. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: Japan Registry of Clinical Trials (registration number: jRCTs071210097).

COVID-19 , Lactococcus lactis , Humans , Interferons , Lactococcus lactis/physiology , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
Curr Microbiol ; 79(6): 167, 2022 Apr 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1802672


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread all over the world and became a pandemic that named coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). At present, several intramuscular vaccines have been successfully developed and mass vaccination has progressed in many countries. The aim of the study is to develop and examine an oral vaccine against COVID-19 with recombinant Lactococcus lactis IL1403, a strain of lactic acid bacteria, expressing SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) S1 subunit as an immunizing antigen. PBS or cell extracts from recombinant L. lactis were orally administered into mice (control VS treatment), and formation of antigen-specific antibodies and changes in the gut microbiome were analyzed. Intracellular antigen was detected, but its secretion was not successful. After immunization, antigen-specific serum IgG and fecal IgA levels were 1.5-fold (P = 0.002) and 1.4-fold (P = 0.016) higher in the immunized mice (treatment) than control, respectively. Gut microbiome profiles were clearly separated between the two groups when analyzed for beta diversity with overall similarity. At the genus level, while Coprococcus (P = 0.036) and unclassified genus of Ruminococcaceae (P = 0.037) in treatment were more abundant than control, rc4-4 (P = 0.013) and Stenotrophomonas (P = 0.021) were less abundant. Our results indicate that cell extract containing SARS-CoV-2 antigen can induce mice to produce antigen-specific antibodies without overall changes in the gut microbiome. This strategy may be useful for the development of other oral viral vaccines.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cell Extracts , Humans , Immunization , Lactococcus lactis/genetics , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
Viruses ; 12(1)2020 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-782193


Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is an acute, high-mortality-rate, severe infectious disease caused by an emerging MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that causes severe respiratory diseases. The continuous spread and great pandemic potential of MERS-CoV make it necessarily important to develop effective vaccines. We previously demonstrated that the application of Gram-positive enhancer matrix (GEM) particles as a bacterial vector displaying the MERS-CoV receptor-binding domain (RBD) is a very promising MERS vaccine candidate that is capable of producing potential neutralization antibodies. We have also used the rabies virus (RV) as a viral vector to design a recombinant vaccine by expressing the MERS-CoV S1 (spike) protein on the surface of the RV. In this study, we compared the immunological efficacy of the vaccine candidates in BALB/c mice in terms of the levels of humoral and cellular immune responses. The results show that the rabies virus vector-based vaccine can induce remarkably earlier antibody response and higher levels of cellular immunity than the GEM particles vector. However, the GEM particles vector-based vaccine candidate can induce remarkably higher antibody response, even at a very low dose of 1 µg. These results indicate that vaccines constructed using different vaccine vector platforms for the same pathogen have different rates and trends in humoral and cellular immune responses in the same animal model. This discovery not only provides more alternative vaccine development platforms for MERS-CoV vaccine development, but also provides a theoretical basis for our future selection of vaccine vector platforms for other specific pathogens.

Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Genetic Vectors , Humans , Immunization , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Lactococcus lactis/genetics , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Rabies virus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage