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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(14): e2119093119, 2022 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751830

ABSTRACT

SignificanceUsing SARS-CoV-2 as a relevant case study for infectious disease, we investigate the structure-function relationships that dictate antiviral spherical nucleic acid (SNA) vaccine efficacy. We show that the SNA architecture can be rapidly employed to target COVID-19 through incorporation of the receptor-binding domain, and that the resulting vaccine potently activates human cells in vitro and mice in vivo. Furthermore, when challenged with a lethal viral infection, only mice treated with the SNA vaccine survived. Taken together, this work underscores the importance of rational vaccine design for infectious disease to yield vaccines that elicit more potent immune responses to effectively fight disease.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control , Nucleic Acids/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Animals , Biotechnology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Diseases/etiology , Communicable Diseases/immunology , Humans , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Viral Vaccines/genetics , Viral Vaccines/immunology
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(4)2022 Feb 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708485

ABSTRACT

Despite the fact that a range of vaccines against COVID-19 have already been created and are used for mass vaccination, the development of effective, safe, technological, and affordable vaccines continues. We have designed a vaccine that combines the recombinant protein and DNA vaccine approaches in a self-assembled particle. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 was conjugated to polyglucin:spermidine and mixed with DNA vaccine (pVAXrbd), which led to the formation of particles of combined coronavirus vaccine (CCV-RBD) that contain the DNA vaccine inside and RBD protein on the surface. CCV-RBD particles were characterized with gel filtration, electron microscopy, and biolayer interferometry. To investigate the immunogenicity of the combined vaccine and its components, mice were immunized with the DNA vaccine pVAXrbd or RBD protein as well as CCV-RBD particles. The highest antigen-specific IgG and neutralizing activity were induced by CCV-RBD, and the level of antibodies induced by DNA or RBD alone was significantly lower. The cellular immune response was detected only in the case of DNA or CCV-RBD vaccination. These results demonstrate that a combination of DNA vaccine and RBD protein in one construct synergistically increases the humoral response to RBD protein in mice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dextrans/chemistry , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Protein Domains , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Spermidine/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/pharmacology , Vero Cells
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 824728, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686477

ABSTRACT

We generated an optimized COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vector expressing a full-length prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein, termed MVA-CoV2-S(3P). The S(3P) protein was expressed at higher levels (2-fold) than the non-stabilized S in cells infected with the corresponding recombinant MVA viruses. One single dose of MVA-CoV2-S(3P) induced higher IgG and neutralizing antibody titers against parental SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concern than MVA-CoV2-S in wild-type C57BL/6 and in transgenic K18-hACE2 mice. In immunized C57BL/6 mice, two doses of MVA-CoV2-S or MVA-CoV2-S(3P) induced similar levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific B- and T-cell immune responses. Remarkably, a single administration of MVA-CoV2-S(3P) protected all K18-hACE2 mice from morbidity and mortality caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, reducing SARS-CoV-2 viral loads, histopathological lesions, and levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the lungs. These results demonstrated that expression of a novel full-length prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 S protein by the MVA poxvirus vector enhanced immunogenicity and efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 in animal models, further supporting MVA-CoV2-S(3P) as an optimized vaccine candidate for clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cell Line, Tumor , Chick Embryo , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytokines/analysis , Female , HeLa Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Plasmids/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccinia virus/immunology , Vero Cells , Viral Vaccines/genetics
4.
Biologicals ; 75: 12-15, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616379

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The successful development of messenger RNA vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 opened up venues for clinical nucleotide-based vaccinations. For development of DNA vaccines, we tested whether the EGF domain peptide of Developmentally regulated endothelial locus1 (E3 peptide) enhances uptake of extracellularly applied plasmid DNA. METHODS: DNA plasmid encoding lacZ or GFP was applied with a conditioned culture medium containing E3 peptide to cell lines in vitro or mouse soleus muscles in vivo, respectively. After 48 h incubation, gene expression was examined by ß-galactosidase (ß-gal) assay and fluorescent microscope, respectively. RESULTS: Application of E3 peptide-containing medium to cultured cell lines induced intense ß-gal activity in a dose-dependent manner. Intra-gastrocnemius injection of E3 peptide-containing medium to mouse soleus muscle succeeded in the induction of GFP fluorescence in many cells around the injection site. CONCLUSIONS: The administration of E3 peptide facilitates transmembrane uptake of extracellular DNA plasmid which induces sufficient extrinsic gene expression.


Subject(s)
DNA/genetics , Epidermal Growth Factor/chemistry , Gene Expression , Peptides , Plasmids/genetics , Plasmids/metabolism , Protein Domains , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cell Membrane/metabolism , DNA/metabolism , Genes, Reporter , Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics , Mice , Muscle, Skeletal , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/metabolism
5.
EBioMedicine ; 75: 103762, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587929

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccines in emergency use are efficacious against COVID-19, yet vaccine-induced prevention against nasal SARS-CoV-2 infection remains suboptimal. METHODS: Since mucosal immunity is critical for nasal prevention, we investigated the efficacy of an intramuscular PD1-based receptor-binding domain (RBD) DNA vaccine (PD1-RBD-DNA) and intranasal live attenuated influenza-based vaccines (LAIV-CA4-RBD and LAIV-HK68-RBD) against SARS-CoV-2. FINDINGS: Substantially higher systemic and mucosal immune responses, including bronchoalveolar lavage IgA/IgG and lung polyfunctional memory CD8 T cells, were induced by the heterologous PD1-RBD-DNA/LAIV-HK68-RBD as compared with other regimens. When vaccinated animals were challenged at the memory phase, prevention of robust SARS-CoV-2 infection in nasal turbinate was achieved primarily by the heterologous regimen besides consistent protection in lungs. The regimen-induced antibodies cross-neutralized variants of concerns. Furthermore, LAIV-CA4-RBD could boost the BioNTech vaccine for improved mucosal immunity. INTERPRETATION: Our results demonstrated that intranasal influenza-based boost vaccination induces mucosal and systemic immunity for effective SARS-CoV-2 prevention in both upper and lower respiratory systems. FUNDING: This study was supported by the Research Grants Council Collaborative Research Fund, General Research Fund and Health and Medical Research Fund in Hong Kong; Outbreak Response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations; Shenzhen Science and Technology Program and matching fund from Shenzhen Immuno Cure BioTech Limited; the Health@InnoHK, Innovation and Technology Commission of Hong Kong; National Program on Key Research Project of China; donations from the Friends of Hope Education Fund; the Theme-Based Research Scheme.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization, Secondary , Influenza Vaccines , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, DNA , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Dogs , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunity, Mucosal , Influenza Vaccines/genetics , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Attenuated/genetics , Vaccines, Attenuated/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vero Cells
6.
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
7.
Vaccine ; 39(49): 7175-7181, 2021 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1508202

ABSTRACT

The development of new, low-cost vaccines and effective gene therapies requires accurate delivery and high-level expression of candidate genes. We developed a plasmid vector, pIDV-II, that allows for both easy manipulation and high expression of exogenous genes in mammalian cells. This plasmid is based upon the pVax1 plasmid and shares a common structure with typical mammalian transcription units. It is composed of a chicken ß-actin promoter (CAG), followed by an intron and flanked by two restriction sites, and also includes a post-transcriptional regulatory element, followed by a transcriptional termination signal. While the modification of pVax1 elements either decreased eGFP expression levels or had no effect at all, replacement of the promoter, the poly-A signal, deletion of the T7 and AmpR promoters, and inversion of the ORI-Neo/Kan cassette, significantly increased in vitro eGFP expression with the modified plasmid called pIDV-II. To further evaluate our vector, expression levels of three viral antigens were compared in cell lines transfected either with pVax1 or pCAGGS backbones as controls. Higher transgene expression was consistently observed with pIDV-II. The humoral and cellular responses generated in mice immunized with pIDV-II vs pVax1 expressing each viral antigen individually were superior by 2-fold or more as measured by ELISA and ELISPOT assays. Overall these results indicate that pIDV-II induces robust transgene expression, with concomitant improved cellular and humoral immune responses against the transgene of interest over pVax1. The new vector, pIDV-II, offers an additional alternative for DNA based vaccination and gene therapy for animal and human use.


Subject(s)
Vaccines, DNA , Animals , DNA , Immunity, Humoral , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Transgenes , Vaccines, DNA/genetics
8.
Sci Adv ; 7(45): eabj0611, 2021 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515256

ABSTRACT

This work reports a suction-based cutaneous delivery method for in vivo DNA transfection. Following intradermal Mantoux injection of plasmid DNA in a rat model, a moderate negative pressure is applied to the injection site, a technique similar to Chinese báguàn and Middle Eastern hijama cupping therapies. Strong GFP expression was demonstrated with pEGFP-N1 plasmids where fluorescence was observed as early as 1 hour after dosing. Modeling indicates a strong correlation between focal strain/stress and expression patterns. The absence of visible and/or histological tissue injury contrasts with current in vivo transfection systems such as electroporation. Specific utility was demonstrated with a synthetic SARS-CoV-2 DNA vaccine, which generated host humoral immune response in rats with notable antibody production. This method enables an easy-to-use, cost-effective, and highly scalable platform for both laboratorial transfection needs and clinical applications for nucleic acid­based therapeutics and vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , DNA , SARS-CoV-2 , Skin/immunology , Transfection , Vaccines, DNA , Administration, Cutaneous , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , DNA/genetics , DNA/immunology , DNA/pharmacology , Male , Rats , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Suction , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/pharmacology
9.
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
10.
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
11.
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
12.
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
13.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248007, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1145483

ABSTRACT

More than 65 million people have been confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 and more than 1 million have died from COVID-19 and this pandemic remains critical worldwide. Effective vaccines are one of the most important strategies to limit the pandemic. Here, we report a construction strategy of DNA vaccine candidates expressing full length wild type SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein, S1 or S2 region and their immunogenicity in mice. All DNA vaccine constructs of pCMVkan-S, -S1 and -S2 induced high levels of specific binding IgG that showed a balance of IgG1/IgG2a response. However, only the sera from mice vaccinated with pCMKkan-S or -S1 DNA vaccines could inhibit viral RBD and ACE2 interaction. The highest neutralizing antibody (NAb) titer was found in pCMVkan-S group, followed by -S1, while -S2 showed the lowest PRNT50 titers. The geometric mean titers (GMTs) were 2,551, 1,005 and 291 for pCMVkan-S, -S1 and -S2, respectively. pCMVkan-S construct vaccine also induced the highest magnitude and breadth of T cells response. Analysis of IFN-γ positive cells after stimulation with SARS-CoV-2 spike peptide pools were 2,991, 1,376 and 1,885 SFC/106 splenocytes for pCMVkan-S, -S1 and -S2, respectively. Our findings highlighted that full-length S antigen is more potent than the truncated spike (S1 or S2) in inducing of neutralizing antibody and robust T cell responses.


Subject(s)
Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred ICR , Plasmids/genetics , Plasmids/metabolism , Protein Binding , Th1 Cells/cytology , Th1 Cells/metabolism , Vaccines, DNA/genetics
14.
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
15.
Vaccine ; 40(17): 2514-2523, 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101536

ABSTRACT

Vaccine platforms have been critical for accelerating the timeline of COVID-19 vaccine development. Faster vaccine timelines demand further development of these technologies. Currently investigated platform approaches include virally vectored and RNA-based vaccines, as well as DNA vaccines and recombinant protein expression system platforms, each featuring different advantages and challenges. Viral vector-based and DNA vaccines in particular have received a large share of research funding to date. Platform vaccine technologies may feature dual-use potential through informing or enabling pathogen engineering, which may raise the risk for the occurrence of deliberate, anthropogenic biological events. Research on virally vectored vaccines exhibits relatively high dual-use potential for two reasons. First, development of virally vectored vaccines may generate insights of particular dual-use concern such as techniques for circumventing pre-existing anti-vector immunity. Second, while the amount of work on viral vectors for gene therapy exceeds that for vaccine research, work on virally vectored vaccines may increase the number of individuals capable of engineering viruses of particular concern, such as ones closely related to smallpox. Other platform vaccine approaches, such as RNA vaccines, feature relatively little dual-use potential. The biosecurity risk associated with platform advancement may be minimised by focusing preferentially on circumventing anti-vector immunity with non-genetic rather than genetic modifications, using vectors that are not based on viruses pathogenic to humans, or preferential investment into promising RNA-based vaccine approaches. To reduce the risk of anthropogenic pandemics, structures for the governance of biotechnology and life science research with dual-use potential need to be reworked. Scientists outside of the pathogen research community, for instance those who work on viral vectors or oncolytic viruses, need to become more aware of the dual-use risks associated with their research. Both public and private research-funding bodies need to prioritise the evaluation and reduction of biosecurity risks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, DNA , Viral Vaccines , Viruses , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Genetic Vectors , Humans , RNA , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Viruses/genetics
16.
Immunity ; 54(3): 542-556.e9, 2021 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101300

ABSTRACT

A combination of vaccination approaches will likely be necessary to fully control the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Here, we show that modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vectors expressing membrane-anchored pre-fusion stabilized spike (MVA/S) but not secreted S1 induced strong neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 in mice. In macaques, the MVA/S vaccination induced strong neutralizing antibodies and CD8+ T cell responses, and conferred protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection and virus replication in the lungs as early as day 2 following intranasal and intratracheal challenge. Single-cell RNA sequencing analysis of lung cells on day 4 after infection revealed that MVA/S vaccination also protected macaques from infection-induced inflammation and B cell abnormalities and lowered induction of interferon-stimulated genes. These results demonstrate that MVA/S vaccination induces neutralizing antibodies and CD8+ T cells in the blood and lungs and is a potential vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Genetic Vectors/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vaccinia virus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Gene Expression , Gene Order , Immunophenotyping , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Macaca , Macrophages, Alveolar/immunology , Macrophages, Alveolar/metabolism , Macrophages, Alveolar/pathology , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, DNA/genetics
17.
Viruses ; 13(2)2021 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1079722

ABSTRACT

The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has highlighted both the importance of One Health, i.e., the interactions and transmission of pathogens between animals and humans, and the potential power of gene-based vaccines, specifically nucleic acid vaccines. This review will highlight key aspects of the development of plasmid DNA Nucleic Acid (NA) vaccines, which have been licensed for several veterinary uses, and tested for a number of human diseases, and will explain how an understanding of their immunological and real-world attributes are important for their efficacy, and how they helped pave the way for mRNA vaccines. The review highlights how combining efforts for vaccine development for both animals and humans is crucial for advancing new technologies and for combatting emerging diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , One Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Humans , Immunity , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
20.
Life Sci ; 267: 118919, 2021 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-988725

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a novel coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is associated with several fatal cases worldwide. The rapid spread of this pathogen and the increasing number of cases highlight the urgent development of vaccines. Among the technologies available for vaccine development, DNA vaccination is a promising alternative to conventional vaccines. Since its discovery in the 1990s, it has been of great interest because of its ability to elicit both humoral and cellular immune responses while showing relevant advantages regarding producibility, stability, and storage. This review aimed to summarize the current knowledge and advancements on DNA vaccines against COVID-19, particularly those in clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/pharmacology
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