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1.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(9): e1009701, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701737

ABSTRACT

The speed of development, versatility and efficacy of mRNA-based vaccines have been amply demonstrated in the case of SARS-CoV-2. DNA vaccines represent an important alternative since they induce both humoral and cellular immune responses in animal models and in human trials. We tested the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of DNA-based vaccine regimens expressing different prefusion-stabilized Wuhan-Hu-1 SARS-CoV-2 Spike antigens upon intramuscular injection followed by electroporation in rhesus macaques. Different Spike DNA vaccine regimens induced antibodies that potently neutralized SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and elicited robust T cell responses. The antibodies recognized and potently neutralized a panel of different Spike variants including Alpha, Delta, Epsilon, Eta and A.23.1, but to a lesser extent Beta and Gamma. The DNA-only vaccine regimens were compared to a regimen that included co-immunization of Spike DNA and protein in the same anatomical site, the latter of which showed significant higher antibody responses. All vaccine regimens led to control of SARS-CoV-2 intranasal/intratracheal challenge and absence of virus dissemination to the lower respiratory tract. Vaccine-induced binding and neutralizing antibody titers and antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis inversely correlated with transient virus levels in the nasal mucosa. Importantly, the Spike DNA+Protein co-immunization regimen induced the highest binding and neutralizing antibodies and showed the strongest control against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in rhesus macaques.


Subject(s)
Macaca mulatta , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , DNA, Viral/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Immunization, Passive , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Mice , RNA, Messenger/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/immunology
2.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6871, 2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537309

ABSTRACT

Several effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are currently in use, but effective boosters are needed to maintain or increase immunity due to waning responses and the emergence of novel variants. Here we report that intranasal vaccinations with adenovirus 5 and 19a vectored vaccines following a systemic plasmid DNA or mRNA priming result in systemic and mucosal immunity in mice. In contrast to two intramuscular applications of an mRNA vaccine, intranasal boosts with adenoviral vectors induce high levels of mucosal IgA and lung-resident memory T cells (TRM); mucosal neutralization of virus variants of concern is also enhanced. The mRNA prime provokes a comprehensive T cell response consisting of circulating and lung TRM after the boost, while the plasmid DNA prime induces mostly mucosal T cells. Concomitantly, the intranasal boost strategies lead to complete protection against a SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice. Our data thus suggest that mucosal booster immunizations after mRNA priming is a promising approach to establish mucosal immunity in addition to systemic responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Mucosal , Immunization, Secondary/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adenoviridae/genetics , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Genetic Vectors , Immunization Schedule , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , /immunology
3.
Bioelectrochemistry ; 144: 107994, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499650

ABSTRACT

Gene therapies are revolutionizing medicine by providing a way to cure hitherto incurable diseases. The scientific and technological advances have enabled the first gene therapies to become clinically approved. In addition, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are witnessing record speeds in the development and distribution of gene-based vaccines. For gene therapy to take effect, the therapeutic nucleic acids (RNA or DNA) need to overcome several barriers before they can execute their function of producing a protein or silencing a defective or overexpressing gene. This includes the barriers of the interstitium, the cell membrane, the cytoplasmic barriers and (in case of DNA) the nuclear envelope. Gene electrotransfer (GET), i.e., transfection by means of pulsed electric fields, is a non-viral technique that can overcome these barriers in a safe and effective manner. GET has reached the clinical stage of investigations where it is currently being evaluated for its therapeutic benefits across a wide variety of indications. In this review, we formalize our current understanding of GET from a biophysical perspective and critically discuss the mechanisms by which electric field can aid in overcoming the barriers. We also identify the gaps in knowledge that are hindering optimization of GET in vivo.


Subject(s)
Electroporation , Gene Transfer Techniques , Genetic Therapy , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , Electroporation/instrumentation , Electroporation/methods , Equipment Design , Gene Transfer Techniques/instrumentation , Genetic Therapy/methods , Humans , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/therapeutic use , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/therapeutic use , /genetics , /therapeutic use
4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(45)2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475573

ABSTRACT

Vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and other pathogens with pandemic potential requires safe, protective, inexpensive, and easily accessible vaccines that can be developed and manufactured rapidly at a large scale. DNA vaccines can achieve these criteria, but induction of strong immune responses has often required bulky, expensive electroporation devices. Here, we report an ultra-low-cost (<1 USD), handheld (<50 g) electroporation system utilizing a microneedle electrode array ("ePatch") for DNA vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. The low cost and small size are achieved by combining a thumb-operated piezoelectric pulser derived from a common household stove lighter that emits microsecond, bipolar, oscillatory electric pulses and a microneedle electrode array that targets delivery of high electric field strength pulses to the skin's epidermis. Antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 induced by this electroporation system in mice were strong and enabled at least 10-fold dose sparing compared to conventional intramuscular or intradermal injection of the DNA vaccine. Vaccination was well tolerated with mild, transient effects on the skin. This ePatch system is easily portable, without any battery or other power source supply, offering an attractive, inexpensive approach for rapid and accessible DNA vaccination to combat COVID-19, as well as other epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Electroporation/instrumentation , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Costs and Cost Analysis , Electroporation/economics , Electroporation/methods , Equipment Design , Female , Genes, Reporter , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Microelectrodes , Needles , Pandemics/prevention & control , Proof of Concept Study , Rats , Rats, Wistar , Skin/immunology , Skin/metabolism , Transfection , Vaccination/economics , Vaccination/instrumentation , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/immunology
5.
Mol Ther ; 30(1): 311-326, 2022 01 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450246

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has made the development of safe and effective vaccines a critical priority. To date, four vaccines have been approved by European and American authorities for preventing COVID-19, but the development of additional vaccine platforms with improved supply and logistics profiles remains a pressing need. Here we report the preclinical evaluation of a novel COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on the electroporation of engineered, synthetic cDNA encoding a viral antigen in the skeletal muscle. We constructed a set of prototype DNA vaccines expressing various forms of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and assessed their immunogenicity in animal models. Among them, COVID-eVax-a DNA plasmid encoding a secreted monomeric form of SARS-CoV-2 S protein receptor-binding domain (RBD)-induced the most potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody responses (including against the current most common variants of concern) and a robust T cell response. Upon challenge with SARS-CoV-2, immunized K18-hACE2 transgenic mice showed reduced weight loss, improved pulmonary function, and lower viral replication in the lungs and brain. COVID-eVax conferred significant protection to ferrets upon SARS-CoV-2 challenge. In summary, this study identifies COVID-eVax as an ideal COVID-19 vaccine candidate suitable for clinical development. Accordingly, a combined phase I-II trial has recently started.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization/methods , Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Female , Ferrets , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Protein Domains , Rats, Sprague-Dawley
6.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(10): 100420, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450242

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has had a dramatic global impact on public health and social and economic infrastructures. Here, we assess the immunogenicity and anamnestic protective efficacy in rhesus macaques of an intradermal (i.d.)-delivered SARS-CoV-2 spike DNA vaccine, INO-4800, currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Vaccination with INO-4800 induced T cell responses and induced spike antigen and RBD binding antibodies with ADCP and ADCD activity. Sera from the animals neutralized both the D614 and G614 SARS-CoV-2 pseudotype viruses. Several months after vaccination, animals were challenged with SARS-CoV-2 resulting in rapid recall of anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein T cell and neutralizing antibody responses. These responses were associated with lower viral loads in the lung. These studies support the immune impact of INO-4800 for inducing both humoral and cellular arms of the adaptive immune system, which are likely important for providing durable protection against COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Lung/virology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Female , Injections, Intradermal , Macaca mulatta , Male , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/therapeutic use , Viral Load
7.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(9): e1009701, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435628

ABSTRACT

The speed of development, versatility and efficacy of mRNA-based vaccines have been amply demonstrated in the case of SARS-CoV-2. DNA vaccines represent an important alternative since they induce both humoral and cellular immune responses in animal models and in human trials. We tested the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of DNA-based vaccine regimens expressing different prefusion-stabilized Wuhan-Hu-1 SARS-CoV-2 Spike antigens upon intramuscular injection followed by electroporation in rhesus macaques. Different Spike DNA vaccine regimens induced antibodies that potently neutralized SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and elicited robust T cell responses. The antibodies recognized and potently neutralized a panel of different Spike variants including Alpha, Delta, Epsilon, Eta and A.23.1, but to a lesser extent Beta and Gamma. The DNA-only vaccine regimens were compared to a regimen that included co-immunization of Spike DNA and protein in the same anatomical site, the latter of which showed significant higher antibody responses. All vaccine regimens led to control of SARS-CoV-2 intranasal/intratracheal challenge and absence of virus dissemination to the lower respiratory tract. Vaccine-induced binding and neutralizing antibody titers and antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis inversely correlated with transient virus levels in the nasal mucosa. Importantly, the Spike DNA+Protein co-immunization regimen induced the highest binding and neutralizing antibodies and showed the strongest control against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in rhesus macaques.


Subject(s)
Macaca mulatta , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , DNA, Viral/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Immunization, Passive , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Mice , RNA, Messenger/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/immunology
9.
Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol ; 21(6): 569-575, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356717

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Molecular forms of allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) are continuously emerging to improve the efficacy of the treatment, to shorten the duration of protocols and to prevent any side effects. The present review covers the recent progress in the development of AIT based on nucleic acid encoding allergens or CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN). RECENT FINDINGS: Therapeutic vaccinations with plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) encoding major shrimp Met e 1 or insect For t 2 allergen were effective for the treatment of food or insect bite allergy in respective animal models. DNA expressing hypoallergenic shrimp tropomyosin activated Foxp3+ T regulatory (Treg) cells whereas DNA encoding For t 2 down-regulated the expression of pruritus-inducing IL-31. Co-administrations of major cat allergen Fel d 1 with high doses of CpG-ODN reduced Th2 airway inflammation through tolerance induction mediated by GATA3+ Foxp3hi Treg cells as well as early anti-inflammatory TNF/TNFR2 signaling cascade. Non-canonical CpG-ODN derived from Cryptococcus neoformans as well as methylated CpG sites present in the genomic DNA from Bifidobacterium infantis mediated Th1 or Treg cell differentiation respectively. SUMMARY: Recent studies on plasmid DNA encoding allergens evidenced their therapeutic potential for the treatment of food allergy and atopic dermatitis. Unmethylated or methylated CpG-ODNs were shown to activate dose-dependent Treg/Th1 responses. Large clinical trials need to be conducted to confirm these promising preclinical data. Moreover, tremendous success of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 must encourage as well the re-exploration of mRNA vaccine platform for innovative AIT.


Subject(s)
Desensitization, Immunologic/methods , Hypersensitivity, Immediate/therapy , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Allergens/administration & dosage , Allergens/genetics , Allergens/immunology , Animals , Clinical Trials as Topic , Desensitization, Immunologic/trends , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Humans , Hypersensitivity, Immediate/immunology , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/genetics , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/immunology , Plasmids/administration & dosage , Plasmids/genetics , Plasmids/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
10.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 371, 2021 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242035

ABSTRACT

Vaccines and therapeutics using in vitro transcribed mRNA hold enormous potential for human and veterinary medicine. Transfection agents are widely considered to be necessary to protect mRNA and enhance transfection, but they add expense and raise concerns regarding quality control and safety. We found that such complex mRNA delivery systems can be avoided when transfecting epithelial cells by aerosolizing the mRNA into micron-sized droplets. In an equine in vivo model, we demonstrated that the translation of mRNA into a functional protein did not depend on the addition of a polyethylenimine (PEI)-derived transfection agent. We were able to safely and effectively transfect the bronchial epithelium of foals using naked mRNA (i.e., mRNA formulated in a sodium citrate buffer without a delivery vehicle). Endoscopic examination of the bronchial tree and histology of mucosal biopsies indicated no gross or microscopic adverse effects of the transfection. Our data suggest that mRNA administered by an atomization device eliminates the need for chemical transfection agents, which can reduce the cost and the safety risks of delivering mRNA to the respiratory tract of animals and humans.


Subject(s)
Horses , Nasal Sprays , RNA, Messenger/administration & dosage , Respiratory Mucosa , Animals , Animals, Newborn , Cells, Cultured , Drug Carriers/administration & dosage , Drug Carriers/adverse effects , Drug Carriers/pharmacokinetics , Drug Delivery Systems/adverse effects , Drug Delivery Systems/methods , Drug Delivery Systems/veterinary , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Female , Lung/drug effects , Lung/metabolism , Nebulizers and Vaporizers/veterinary , Polyethyleneimine/administration & dosage , Polyethyleneimine/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/adverse effects , RNA, Messenger/pharmacokinetics , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Transcription, Genetic , Transfection/methods , Transfection/veterinary , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/adverse effects , Vaccines, DNA/pharmacokinetics
11.
JCI Insight ; 6(10)2021 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197299

ABSTRACT

Emerging coronaviruses from zoonotic reservoirs, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), have been associated with human-to-human transmission and significant morbidity and mortality. Here, we study both intradermal and intramuscular 2-dose delivery regimens of an advanced synthetic DNA vaccine candidate encoding a full-length MERS-CoV spike (S) protein, which induced potent binding and neutralizing antibodies as well as cellular immune responses in rhesus macaques. In a MERS-CoV challenge, all immunized rhesus macaques exhibited reduced clinical symptoms, lowered viral lung load, and decreased severity of pathological signs of disease compared with controls. Intradermal vaccination was dose sparing and more effective in this model at protecting animals from disease. The data support the further study of this vaccine for preventing MERS-CoV infection and transmission, including investigation of such vaccines and simplified delivery routes against emerging coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/therapeutic use , Viral Vaccines/therapeutic use , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Injections, Intradermal , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/genetics
12.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(12)2021 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125261

ABSTRACT

Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is a replication-restricted smallpox vaccine, and numerous clinical studies of recombinant MVAs (rMVAs) as vectors for prevention of other infectious diseases, including COVID-19, are in progress. Here, we characterize rMVAs expressing the S protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Modifications of full-length S individually or in combination included two proline substitutions, mutations of the furin recognition site, and deletion of the endoplasmic retrieval signal. Another rMVA in which the receptor binding domain (RBD) is flanked by the signal peptide and transmembrane domains of S was also constructed. Each modified S protein was displayed on the surface of rMVA-infected cells and was recognized by anti-RBD antibody and soluble hACE2 receptor. Intramuscular injection of mice with the rMVAs induced antibodies, which neutralized a pseudovirus in vitro and, upon passive transfer, protected hACE2 transgenic mice from lethal infection with SARS-CoV-2, as well as S-specific CD3+CD8+IFNγ+ T cells. Antibody boosting occurred following a second rMVA or adjuvanted purified RBD protein. Immunity conferred by a single vaccination of hACE2 mice prevented morbidity and weight loss upon intranasal infection with SARS-CoV-2 3 wk or 7 wk later. One or two rMVA vaccinations also prevented detection of infectious SARS-CoV-2 and subgenomic viral mRNAs in the lungs and greatly reduced induction of cytokine and chemokine mRNAs. A low amount of virus was found in the nasal turbinates of only one of eight rMVA-vaccinated mice on day 2 and none later. Detection of low levels of subgenomic mRNAs in turbinates indicated that replication was aborted in immunized animals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Genetic Vectors/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vaccinia virus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Specificity/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunization , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/genetics
13.
Expert Rev Vaccines ; 20(1): 23-44, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1026886

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has currently caused the pandemic with a high progressive speed and has been considered as the global public health crisis in 2020. This new member of the coronavirus family has created a potentially fatal disease, called coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Despite the continuous efforts of researchers to find effective vaccines and drugs for COVID-19, there is still no success in this matter. AREAS COVERED: Here, the literature regarding the COVID-19 vaccine candidates currently in the clinical trials, as well as main candidates in pre-clinical stages for development and research, were reviewed. These candidates have been developed under five different major platforms, including live-attenuated vaccine, mRNA-based vaccine, DNA vaccines, inactivated virus, and viral-vector-based vaccine. EXPERT OPINION: There are several limitations in the field of the rapid vaccine development against SARS-CoV-2, and other members of the coronavirus family such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. The key challenges of designing an effective vaccine within a short time include finding the virulence ability of an emerging virus and potential antigen, choosing suitable experimental models and efficient route of administration, the immune-response study, designing the clinical trials, and determining the safety, as well as efficacy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19 Vaccines/metabolism , Clinical Trials as Topic/methods , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/metabolism
14.
Adv Drug Deliv Rev ; 169: 137-151, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-986888

ABSTRACT

The novel corona virus termed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread throughout the globe at a formidable speed, causing tens of millions of cases and more than one million deaths in less than a year of its report in December 2019. Since then, companies and research institutions have raced to develop SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, ranging from conventional viral and protein-based vaccines to those that are more cutting edge, including DNA- and mRNA-based vaccines. Each vaccine exhibits a different potency and duration of efficacy, as determined by the antigen design, adjuvant molecules, vaccine delivery platforms, and immunization method. In this review, we will introduce a few of the leading non-viral vaccines that are under clinical stage development and discuss delivery strategies to improve vaccine efficacy, duration of protection, safety, and mass vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Drug Delivery Systems/methods , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Humans , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/chemistry , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/chemistry , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics
15.
J Virol ; 94(24)2020 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-985727

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe respiratory illness and has a high mortality of ∼34%. However, since its discovery in 2012, an effective vaccine has not been developed for it. To develop a vaccine against multiple strains of MERS-CoV, we targeted spike glycoprotein (S) using prime-boost vaccination with DNA and insect cell-expressed recombinant proteins for the receptor-binding domain (RBD), S1, S2, SΔTM, or SΔER. Our S subunits were generated using an S sequence derived from the MERS-CoV EMC/2012 strain. We examined humoral and cellular immune responses of various combinations with DNA plasmids and recombinant proteins in mice. Mouse sera immunized with SΔER DNA priming/SΔTM protein boosting showed cross-neutralization against 15 variants of S-pseudovirions and the wild-type KOR/KNIH/002 strain. In addition, these immunizations provided full protection against the KOR/KNIH/002 strain challenge in human DPP4 knock-in mice. These findings suggest that vaccination with the S subunits derived from one viral strain can provide cross-protection against variant MERS-CoV strains with mutations in S. DNA priming/protein boosting increased gamma interferon production, while protein-alone immunization did not. The RBD subunit alone was insufficient to induce neutralizing antibodies, suggesting the importance of structural conformation. In conclusion, heterologous DNA priming with protein boosting is an effective way to induce both neutralizing antibodies and cell-mediated immune responses for MERS-CoV vaccine development. This study suggests a strategy for selecting a suitable platform for developing vaccines against MERS-CoV or other emerging coronaviruses.IMPORTANCE Coronavirus is an RNA virus with a higher mutation rate than DNA viruses. Therefore, a mutation in S-protein, which mediates viral infection by binding to a human cellular receptor, is expected to cause difficulties in vaccine development. Given that DNA-protein vaccines promote stronger cell-mediated immune responses than protein-only vaccination, we immunized mice with various combinations of DNA priming and protein boosting using the S-subunit sequences of the MERS-CoV EMC/2012 strain. We demonstrated a cross-protective effect against wild-type KOR/KNIH/002, a strain with two mutations in the S amino acids, including one in its RBD. The vaccine also provided cross-neutralization against 15 different S-pseudotyped viruses. These suggested that a vaccine targeting one variant of S can provide cross-protection against multiple viral strains with mutations in S. The regimen of DNA priming/Protein boosting can be applied to the development of other coronavirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Protection , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunization, Secondary , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Plasmids/administration & dosage , Plasmids/genetics , Plasmids/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage
16.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 16(12): 3034-3042, 2020 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-730555

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly spread across the world. This resulted an alarming number of fatalities with millions of confirmed infected cases, pretending severe public health, economic, and social threats. There is no specific therapeutic drugs or licensed vaccines or treatments to fight against lethal COVID-19 infections. Given the significant threats of COVID-19, the global organizations are racing to identify epidemiological and pathogenic mechanisms of COVID-19 to find treatment regimens and effective therapeutic modalities for future prevention. Herein, we reviewed the therapeutic interventions and vaccines for COVID-19 based on the existing knowledge and understanding of similar coronaviruses, including MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. The information constitutes a paramount intellectual basis to sustenance ongoing research for the discovery of vaccines and therapeutic agents. This review signifies the most available frontiers in the viral vaccine development approaches to counter the COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/prevention & control , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antiviral Agents/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Humans , Protease Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Protease Inhibitors/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/immunology
18.
Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol ; 47(11): 1874-1878, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-696790

ABSTRACT

A novel concept in DNA vaccine design is the creation of an inhaled DNA plasmid construct containing a portion of the coronavirus spike protein for treatment and vaccination. The secretion of a spike protein portion will function as a competitive antagonist by interfering with the binding of coronavirus to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. The secreted protein binding to the ACE2 receptor provides a unique mechanism of action for treatment to all strains of coronavirus in naïve patients, by blocking the ACE2 receptor site. An inhaled plasmid DNA vaccine replicates the route of lung infection taken by coronavirus with transfected cells secreting spike protein portions to induce immunity. Unlike most DNA vaccines with intracellular antigen presentation through MHC I, the current vaccine relies on the secreted proteins presentation through MHC II as well as MHC I to induce immunity. Lung specific production of vaccine particles by inhaled plasmid DNA is appealing since it may have limited systemic side effects, and may induce both humoral and cytotoxic immunity. Finally, the ease and ability to rapidly produce this plasmid construct makes this an ideal solution for managing the emerging threat of coronavirus.


Subject(s)
Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/therapeutic use , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/therapeutic use , Administration, Intranasal , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Chitosan , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, DNA/chemistry
19.
Science ; 369(6505): 806-811, 2020 08 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-326877

ABSTRACT

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has made the development of a vaccine a top biomedical priority. In this study, we developed a series of DNA vaccine candidates expressing different forms of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and evaluated them in 35 rhesus macaques. Vaccinated animals developed humoral and cellular immune responses, including neutralizing antibody titers at levels comparable to those found in convalescent humans and macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2. After vaccination, all animals were challenged with SARS-CoV-2, and the vaccine encoding the full-length S protein resulted in >3.1 and >3.7 log10 reductions in median viral loads in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal mucosa, respectively, as compared with viral loads in sham controls. Vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibody titers correlated with protective efficacy, suggesting an immune correlate of protection. These data demonstrate vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 in nonhuman primates.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Secondary , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunologic Memory , Macaca mulatta , Male , Mutant Proteins/chemistry , Mutant Proteins/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Viral Load , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage
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