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1.
Crit Rev Ther Drug Carrier Syst ; 39(4): 49-82, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1963172

ABSTRACT

To achieve optimal immunogenicity, particulates present a promising vehicle for antigen delivery and have the potential to skew immune response. Particulate vaccine offers several advantages including targeting of antigen to sentinel cells, protection from degradation, sustained release, and itself acts an adjuvant mimics viral structure. Adjuvant presence is vital in overcoming the poor immunogenicity of vaccines, e.g., subunit vaccines. Adjuvants have antigen dose sparing potential and provide danger signals to alert the immune system. Various particulate carriers received attention in the delivery of vaccine antigens such as virus-like particles, liposomes, immunostimulating complexes, and polymeric particles. This review also discussed the properties of particles such as size, shape, and rigidity affecting the immunological outcome. It further highlights the cellular uptake of the particulate vaccine, antigen processing, and its presentation by antigen-presenting cells. For mass vaccination, especially in countries lacking resources, effect of storage temperature condition on stability of vaccine is pivotal. The current COVID-19 pandemic is not showing any signs of abatement and role of nanocarriers are highly relevant in SARS-CoV-2 pandemic as an effective immunization strategy. Eradication of pandemic demands the rapid evaluation of multiple approaches that can provides successful vaccination platform, enabling scalability and global distribution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Antigen Presentation , Antigens , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Subunit
2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 12584, 2022 Jul 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956419

ABSTRACT

With different countries facing multiple waves, with some SARS-CoV-2 variants more deadly and virulent, the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming more dangerous by the day and the world is facing an even more dreadful extended pandemic with exponential positive cases and increasing death rates. There is an urgent need for more efficient and faster methods of vaccine development against SARS-CoV-2. Compared to experimental protocols, the opportunities to innovate are very high in immunoinformatics/in silico approaches, especially with the recent adoption of structural bioinformatics in peptide vaccine design. In recent times, multi-epitope-based peptide vaccine candidates (MEBPVCs) have shown extraordinarily high humoral and cellular responses to immunization. Most of the publications claim that respective reported MEBPVC(s) assembled using a set of in silico predicted epitopes, to be the computationally validated potent vaccine candidate(s) ready for experimental validation. However, in this article, for a given set of predicted epitopes, it is shown that the published MEBPVC is one among the many possible variants and there is high likelihood of finding more potent MEBPVCs than the published candidates. To test the same, a methodology is developed where novel MEBP variants are derived by changing the epitope order of the published MEBPVC. Further, to overcome the limitations of current qualitative methods of assessment of MEBPVC, to enable quantitative comparison and ranking for the discovery of more potent MEBPVCs, novel predictors, Percent Epitope Accessibility (PEA), Receptor specific MEBP vaccine potency (RMVP), MEBP vaccine potency (MVP) are introduced. The MEBP variants indeed showed varied MVP scores indicating varied immunogenicity. Further, the MEBP variants with IDs, SPVC_446 and SPVC_537, had the highest MVP scores indicating these variants to be more potent MEBPVCs than the published MEBPVC and hence should be preferred candidates for immediate experimental testing and validation. The method enables quicker selection and high throughput experimental validation of vaccine candidates. This study also opens the opportunity to develop new software tools for designing more potent MEBPVCs in less time.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Enkephalin, Methionine/analogs & derivatives , Epitopes , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics/prevention & control , Peptides , Vaccines, Subunit
3.
Biosci Rep ; 41(9)2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915305

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the global pandemic of the Coronavirus disease in late 2019 (COVID-19). Vaccine development efforts have predominantly been aimed at 'Extra-viral' Spike (S) protein as vaccine vehicles, but there are concerns regarding 'viral immune escape' since multiple mutations may enable the mutated virus strains to escape from immunity against S protein. The 'Intra-viral' Nucleocapsid (N-protein) is relatively conserved among mutant strains of coronaviruses during spread and evolution. Herein, we demonstrate novel vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2 by using the whole conserved N-protein or its fragment/peptides. Using ELISA assay, we showed that high titers of specific anti-N antibodies (IgG, IgG1, IgG2a, IgM) were maintained for a reasonably long duration (> 5 months), suggesting that N-protein is an excellent immunogen to stimulate host immune system and robust B-cell activation. We synthesized three peptides located at the conserved regions of N-protein among CoVs. One peptide showed as a good immunogen for vaccination as well. Cytokine arrays on post-vaccination mouse sera showed progressive up-regulation of various cytokines such as IFN-γ and CCL5, suggesting that TH1 associated responses are also stimulated. Furthermore, vaccinated mice exhibited an elevated memory T cells population. Here, we propose an unconventional vaccine strategy targeting the conserved N-protein as an alternative vaccine target for coronaviruses. Moreover, we generated a mouse monoclonal antibody specifically against an epitope shared between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, and we are currently developing the First-in-Class humanized anti-N-protein antibody to potentially treat patients infected by various CoVs in the future.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Models, Animal , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
4.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 6410, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908253

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the greatest threat to global health at the present time, and considerable public and private effort is being devoted to fighting this recently emerged disease. Despite the undoubted advances in the development of vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, uncertainty remains about their future efficacy and the duration of the immunity induced. It is therefore prudent to continue designing and testing vaccines against this pathogen. In this article we computationally designed two candidate vaccines, one monopeptide and one multipeptide, using a technique involving optimizing lambda-superstrings, which was introduced and developed by our research group. We tested the monopeptide vaccine, thus establishing a proof of concept for the validity of the technique. We synthesized a peptide of 22 amino acids in length, corresponding to one of the candidate vaccines, and prepared a dendritic cell (DC) vaccine vector loaded with the 22 amino acids SARS-CoV-2 peptide (positions 50-71) contained in the NTD domain (DC-CoVPSA) of the Spike protein. Next, we tested the immunogenicity, the type of immune response elicited, and the cytokine profile induced by the vaccine, using a non-related bacterial peptide as negative control. Our results indicated that the CoVPSA peptide of the Spike protein elicits noticeable immunogenicity in vivo using a DC vaccine vector and remarkable cellular and humoral immune responses. This DC vaccine vector loaded with the NTD peptide of the Spike protein elicited a predominant Th1-Th17 cytokine profile, indicative of an effective anti-viral response. Finally, we performed a proof of concept experiment in humans that included the following groups: asymptomatic non-active COVID-19 patients, vaccinated volunteers, and control donors that tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. The positive control was the current receptor binding domain epitope of COVID-19 RNA-vaccines. We successfully developed a vaccine candidate technique involving optimizing lambda-superstrings and provided proof of concept in human subjects. We conclude that it is a valid method to decipher the best epitopes of the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 to prepare peptide-based vaccines for different vector platforms, including DC vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Amino Acids , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cytokines , Epitopes , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit
5.
Front Immunol ; 13: 863234, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1903009

ABSTRACT

Mucormycosis is a potentially fatal illness that arises in immunocompromised people due to diabetic ketoacidosis, neutropenia, organ transplantation, and elevated serum levels of accessible iron. The sudden spread of mucormycosis in COVID-19 patients engendered massive concern worldwide. Comorbidities including diabetes, cancer, steroid-based medications, long-term ventilation, and increased ferritin serum concentration in COVID-19 patients trigger favorable fungi growth that in turn effectuate mucormycosis. The necessity of FTR1 gene-encoded ferrous permease for host iron acquisition by fungi has been found in different studies recently. Thus, targeting the transit component could be a potential solution. Unfortunately, no appropriate antifungal vaccine has been constructed as of yet. To date, mucormycosis has been treated with antiviral therapy and surgical treatment only. Thus, in this study, the FTR1 protein has been targeted to design a convenient and novel epitope-based vaccine with the help of immunoinformatics against four different virulent fungal species. Furthermore, the vaccine was constructed using 8 CTL, 2 HTL, and 1 LBL epitopes that were found to be highly antigenic, non-allergenic, non-toxic, and fully conserved among the fungi under consideration. The vaccine has very reassuring stability due to its high pI value of 9.97, conclusive of a basic range. The vaccine was then subjected to molecular docking, molecular dynamics, and immune simulation studies to confirm the biological environment's safety, efficacy, and stability. The vaccine constructs were found to be safe in addition to being effective. Finally, we used in-silico cloning to develop an effective strategy for vaccine mass production. The designed vaccine will be a potential therapeutic not only to control mucormycosis in COVID-19 patients but also be effective in general mucormycosis events. However, further in vitro, and in vivo testing is needed to confirm the vaccine's safety and efficacy in controlling fungal infections. If successful, this vaccine could provide a low-cost and effective method of preventing the spread of mucormycosis worldwide.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mucormycosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Fungi , Humans , Iron/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Mucormycosis/microbiology , Mucormycosis/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Combined , Vaccines, Subunit
6.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0268251, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1887011

ABSTRACT

Multiepitope vaccines could induce multiantigenic immunity against large complex pathogens with different strain variants. Herein, the in silico, in vitro and in vivo studies were used to design and develop a novel candidate antigenic multiepitope vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 pathogen. The designed multiepitope construct targets the spike glycoprotein (S), membrane protein (M), and nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (N) of SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., the S-N-M construct). This construct contains the cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-, helper T lymphocyte (HTL)-, and linear B lymphocyte (LBL)-inducing epitopes. The multiepitope s-n-m fusion gene was subcloned in prokaryotic (pET24a) and eukaryotic (pcDNA3.1) expression vectors. Its expression was evaluated in mammalian cell line using LL37 cell penetrating peptide. Moreover, the recombinant multiepitope S-N-M peptide was produced in E. coli strain. Finally, mice were immunized using homologous and heterologous regimens for evaluation of immune responses. Our data indicated that the multiepitope S-N-M peptide construct combined with Montanide 720 in homologous regimen significantly stimulated total IgG, IgG2a, IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-15, IL-21 and IL-6, and Granzyme B secretion as compared to other groups. Moreover, the pcDNA-s-n-m/ LL37 nanoparticles significantly induced higher immune responses than the naked DNA in both homologous and heterologous regimens. In general, our designed multiepitope vaccine construct can be considered as a vaccine candidate in SARS-CoV-2 infection model.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Escherichia coli , Humans , Mammals , Mice , Mineral Oil , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit
7.
Vaccine ; 40(32): 4522-4530, 2022 Jul 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886121

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred an unprecedented movement to develop safe and effective vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus to immunize the global population. The first set of vaccine candidates that received emergency use authorization targeted the spike (S) glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that enables virus entry into cells via the receptor binding domain (RBD). Recently, multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged with mutations in S protein and the ability to evade neutralizing antibodies in vaccinated individuals. We have developed a dual RBD and nucleocapsid (N) subunit protein vaccine candidate named RelCoVax® through heterologous expression in mammalian cells (RBD) and E. coli (N). The RelCoVax® formulation containing a combination of aluminum hydroxide (alum) and a synthetic CpG oligonucleotide as adjuvants elicited high antibody titers against RBD and N proteins in mice after a prime and boost dose regimen administered 2 weeks apart. The vaccine also stimulated cellular immune responses with a potential Th1 bias as evidenced by increased IFN-γ release by splenocytes from immunized mice upon antigen exposure particularly N protein. Finally, the serum of mice immunized with RelCoVax® demonstrated the ability to neutralize two different SARS-CoV-2 viral strains in vitro including the Delta strain that has become dominant in many regions of the world and can evade vaccine induced neutralizing antibodies. These results warrant further evaluation of RelCoVax® through advanced studies and contribute towards enhancing our understanding of multicomponent subunit vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Escherichia coli , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Mammals , Mice , Pandemics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit
8.
9.
Vaccine ; 40(32): 4440-4452, 2022 Jul 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1882608

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory illness caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The prevention of SARS-CoV-2 transmission has become a global priority. Previously, we showed that a protein subunit vaccine that was developed based on the fusion of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) to the Fc portion of human IgG1 (RBD-Fc), produced in Nicotiana benthamiana, and adjuvanted with alum, namely, Baiya SARS-CoV-2 Vax 1, induced potent immunological responses in both mice and cynomolgus monkeys. Hence, this study evaluated the protective efficacy, safety, and toxicity of Baiya SARS-CoV-2 Vax 1 in K18-hACE2 mice, monkeys and Wistar rats. Two doses of vaccine were administered three weeks apart on Days 0 and 21. The administration of the vaccine to K18-hACE2 mice reduced viral loads in the lungs and brains of the vaccinated animals and protected the mice against challenge with SARS-CoV-2. In monkeys, the results of safety pharmacology tests, general clinical observations, and a core battery of studies of three vital systems, namely, the central nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems, did not reveal any safety concerns. The toxicology study of the vaccine in rats showed no vaccine-related pathological changes, and all the animals remained healthy under the conditions of this study. Furthermore, the vaccine did not cause any abnormal toxicity in rats and was clinically tolerated even at the highest tested concentration. In addition, general health status, body temperature, local toxicity at the administration site, hematology, and blood chemistry parameters were also monitored. Overall, this work presents the results of the first systematic study of the safety profile of a plant-derived vaccine, Baiya SARS-CoV-2 Vax 1; this approach can be considered a viable strategy for the development of vaccines against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Rats , Rats, Wistar , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Subunit
10.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 213: 1007-1017, 2022 Jul 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1882071

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for new vaccine platforms to rapidly develop solutions against emerging pathogens. In particular, some plant viruses offer several advantages for developing subunit vaccines, such as high expression rates in E. coli, high immunogenicity and safety, and absence of pre-immunity that could interfere with the vaccine's efficacy. Cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV) is a model system that has been extensively characterized, with key advantages for its use as an epitope carrier. In the present study, three relevant epitopes from the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein were genetically inserted into the CCMV CP and expressed in E. coli cultures, resulting in the CCMV1, CCMV2, and CCMV3 chimeras. The recombinant CP mutants were purified from the formed inclusion bodies and refolded, and their immunogenicity as a subunit vaccine was assessed in BALB/c mice. The three mutants are immunogenic as they induce high IgG antibody titers that recognize the recombinant full-length S protein. This study supports the application of CCMV CP as an attractive carrier for the clinical evaluation of vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, it suggests that VLPs assembled from these chimeric proteins could result in antigens with better immunogenicity.


Subject(s)
Bromovirus , COVID-19 , Animals , Bromovirus/genetics , Bromovirus/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , Capsid Proteins/genetics , Capsid Proteins/metabolism , Chimera/metabolism , Epitopes , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Humans , Mice , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Subunit
11.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879492

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), especially emerging variants, poses an increased threat to global public health. The significant reduction in neutralization activity against the variants such as B.1.351 in the serum of convalescent patients and vaccinated people calls for the design of new potent vaccines targeting the emerging variant. However, since most vaccines approved and in clinical trials are based on the sequence of the original SARS-CoV-2 strain, the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of vaccines based on the B.1.351 variant remain largely unknown. In this study, we evaluated the immunogenicity, induced neutralization activity, and protective efficacy of wild-type spike protein nanoparticle (S-2P) and mutant spike protein nanoparticle (S-4M-2P) carrying characteristic mutations of B.1.351 variant in mice. Although there was no significant difference in the induction of spike-specific IgG responses in S-2P- and S-4M-2P-immunized mice, neutralizing antibodies elicited by S-4M-2P exhibited noteworthy, narrower breadth of reactivity with SARS-CoV-2 variants compared with neutralizing antibodies elicited by S-2P. Furthermore, the decrease of induced neutralizing antibody breadth at least partly resulted from the amino acid substitution at position 484. Moreover, S-4M-2P vaccination conferred insufficient protection against live SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, while S-2P vaccination gave definite protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in mice. Together, our study provides direct evidence that the E484K substitution in a SARS-CoV-2 subunit protein vaccine limited the cross-reactive neutralizing antibody breadth in mice and, more importantly, draws attention to the unfavorable impact of this mutation in spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 variants on the induction of potent neutralizing antibody responses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Cross Reactions , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
12.
Res Vet Sci ; 148: 52-64, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867752

ABSTRACT

Of the numerous animal species affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, cats are one of the most susceptible, and cat-to-cat transmission has been described. Although cat-to-human infection has not, as yet, been demonstrated, preventive measures should be taken in order to avoid both viral infection in cats and transmission among them. In this respect, the application of an effective vaccine to at-risk populations would be a useful tool for controlling the disease in this species. Here, we test a new vaccine prototype based on the Spike protein of the virus in order to prevent infection and infectious virus shedding in cats. The vaccine employed in experimentation, and which is easily produced, triggered a strong neutralizing antibody response in vaccinated animals. In contrast to that which occurred with control animals, no infectious virus was detected in the oropharyngeal or rectal swabs of vaccinated cats submitted to a SARS-CoV-2 challenge. These results are of great interest as regards future considerations related to implementing vaccination programs in pets. The value of cats as vaccination trial models is also described herein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cat Diseases , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/prevention & control , Cats , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Subunit , Virus Shedding
13.
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol ; 106(11): 4091-4114, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1864371

ABSTRACT

Novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) leads to coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), declared as a pandemic that outbreaks within almost 225 countries worldwide. For the time being, numerous mutations have been reported that led to the generation of numerous variants spread more rapidly. This study aims to establish an efficient multi-epitope subunit vaccine that could elicit both T-cell and B-cell responses sufficient to recognize three confirmed surface proteins of the virus. The sequences of the viral surface proteins, e.g., an envelope protein (E), membrane glycoprotein (M), and S1 and S2 domain of spike surface glycoprotein (S), were analyzed by an immunoinformatic approach. Top immunogenic epitopes have been selected based on the assessment of the affinity with MHC class-I and MHC class-II, population coverage, along with conservancy among wild type and new variants of SARS-CoV-2 genomes. Molecular docking and molecular dynamic simulation suggest that the proposed top peptides have the potential to interact with the highest number of both the MHC class I and MHC class II. The epitopes were assembled by the appropriate linkers to form a multi-epitope vaccine. Epitopes used in the vaccine construct are conserved in all the variants evolved till now. This in silico-designed multi-epitope vaccine is highly immunogenic and induces levels of SARS-CoV2-neutralizing antibodies in mice, which is detected by inhibition of cytopathic effect in Vero cell monolayer. Further studies are required to improve its efficiency in the prevention of virus replication in lung tissue, in addition to safety validation as a step for human application to combat SARS-CoV-2 variants. KEY POINTS: • We discovered five T-cell epitopes from three surface proteins of SARS-CoV-2. • These are conserved in the wild-type virus and variants, e.g., beta, delta, and omicron. • The multi-epitope vaccine can induce IgG in mice that can neutralize the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Humans , Mice , Molecular Docking Simulation , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics
14.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 05 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855825

ABSTRACT

Currently, SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding-domain (RBD)-based vaccines are considered one of the most effective weapons against COVID-19. During the first step of assessing vaccine immunogenicity, a mouse model is often used. In this paper, we tested the use of five experimental animals (mice, hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, and chickens) for RBD immunogenicity assessments. The humoral immune response was evaluated by ELISA and virus-neutralization assays. The data obtained show hamsters to be the least suitable candidates for RBD immunogenicity testing and, hence, assessing the protective efficacy of RBD-based vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chickens , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Ferrets , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Rabbits , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
15.
Front Immunol ; 13: 858904, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855358

ABSTRACT

Despite the remarkable efficacy of currently approved COVID-19 vaccines, there are several opportunities for continued vaccine development against SARS-CoV-2 and future lethal respiratory viruses. In particular, restricted vaccine access and hesitancy have limited immunization rates. In addition, current vaccines are unable to prevent breakthrough infections, leading to prolonged virus circulation. To improve access, a subunit vaccine with enhanced thermostability was designed to eliminate the need for an ultra-cold chain. The exclusion of infectious and genetic materials from this vaccine may also help reduce vaccine hesitancy. In an effort to prevent breakthrough infections, intranasal immunization to induce mucosal immunity was explored. A prototype vaccine comprised of receptor-binding domain (RBD) polypeptides formulated with additional immunoadjuvants in a chitosan (CS) solution induced high levels of RBD-specific antibodies in laboratory mice after 1 or 2 immunizations. Antibody responses were durable with high titers persisting for at least five months following subcutaneous vaccination. Serum anti-RBD antibodies contained both IgG1 and IgG2a isotypes suggesting that the vaccine induced a mixed Th1/Th2 response. RBD vaccination without CS formulation resulted in minimal anti-RBD responses. The addition of CpG oligonucleotides to the CS plus RBD vaccine formulation increased antibody titers more effectively than interleukin-12 (IL-12). Importantly, generated antibodies were cross-reactive against RBD mutants associated with SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including alpha, beta and delta variants, and inhibited binding of RBD to its cognate receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). With respect to stability, vaccines did not lose activity when stored at either room temperature (21-22°C) or 4°C for at least one month. When delivered intranasally, vaccines induced RBD-specific mucosal IgA antibodies, which may protect against breakthrough infections in the upper respiratory tract. Altogether, data indicate that the designed vaccine platform is versatile, adaptable and capable of overcoming key constraints of current COVID-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Mice , Vaccines, Subunit
16.
Eur J Pharm Biopharm ; 176: 43-53, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850998

ABSTRACT

Nanoparticles-based multivalent antigen display has the capability of mimicking natural virus infection characteristics, making it useful for eliciting potent long-lasting immune response. Several vaccines are developed against global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However these subunit vaccines use mammalian expression system, hence mass production with rapid pace is a bigger challenge. In contrast E. coli based subunit vaccine production circumvents these limitations. The objective of the present investigation was to develop nanoparticle vaccine with multivalent display of receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 expressed in E. coli. Results showed that RBD entrapped PLA (Poly lactic acid) nanoparticle in combination with aluminum hydroxide elicited 9-fold higher immune responses as compared to RBD adsorbed aluminum hydroxide, a common adjuvant used for human immunization. It was interesting to note that RBD entrapped PLA nanoparticle with aluminum hydroxide not only generated robust and long-lasting antibody response but also provided Th1 and Th2 balanced immune response. Moreover, challenge with 1 µg of RBD alone was able to generate secondary antibody response, suggesting that immunization with RBD-PLA nanoparticles has the ability to elicit memory antibody against RBD. Plaque assay revealed that the antibody generated using the polymeric formulation was able to neutralize SARS-CoV-2. The RBD entrapped PLA nanoparticles blended with aluminum hydroxide thus has potential to develop asa subunit vaccine against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Aluminum Hydroxide , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 Vaccines , Escherichia coli , Humans , Mammals , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Polyesters , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit
17.
N Engl J Med ; 386(22): 2097-2111, 2022 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830291

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The ZF2001 vaccine, which contains a dimeric form of the receptor-binding domain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and aluminum hydroxide as an adjuvant, was shown to be safe, with an acceptable side-effect profile, and immunogenic in adults in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. METHODS: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial to investigate the efficacy and confirm the safety of ZF2001. The trial was performed at 31 clinical centers across Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Ecuador; an additional center in China was included in the safety analysis only. Adult participants (≥18 years of age) were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive a total of three 25-µg doses (30 days apart) of ZF2001 or placebo. The primary end point was the occurrence of symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), as confirmed on polymerase-chain-reaction assay, at least 7 days after receipt of the third dose. A key secondary efficacy end point was the occurrence of severe-to-critical Covid-19 (including Covid-19-related death) at least 7 days after receipt of the third dose. RESULTS: Between December 12, 2020, and December 15, 2021, a total of 28,873 participants received at least one dose of ZF2001 or placebo and were included in the safety analysis; 25,193 participants who had completed the three-dose regimen, for whom there were approximately 6 months of follow-up data, were included in the updated primary efficacy analysis that was conducted at the second data cutoff date of December 15, 2021. In the updated analysis, primary end-point cases were reported in 158 of 12,625 participants in the ZF2001 group and in 580 of 12,568 participants in the placebo group, for a vaccine efficacy of 75.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 71.0 to 79.8). Severe-to-critical Covid-19 occurred in 6 participants in the ZF2001 group and in 43 in the placebo group, for a vaccine efficacy of 87.6% (95% CI, 70.6 to 95.7); Covid-19-related death occurred in 2 and 12 participants, respectively, for a vaccine efficacy of 86.5% (95% CI, 38.9 to 98.5). The incidence of adverse events and serious adverse events was balanced in the two groups, and there were no vaccine-related deaths. Most adverse reactions (98.5%) were of grade 1 or 2. CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of adults, the ZF2001 vaccine was shown to be safe and effective against symptomatic and severe-to-critical Covid-19 for at least 6 months after full vaccination. (Funded by the National Science and Technology Major Project and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04646590.).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Vaccines, Subunit , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Double-Blind Method , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Vaccines , Vaccines, Subunit/adverse effects , Vaccines, Subunit/therapeutic use , Young Adult
18.
Mol Biol Rep ; 49(7): 6113-6123, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1826730

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has currently affected millions of people around the world. To combat the rapid spread of COVID-19 there is an urgent need to implement technological platforms for the production of vaccines, drugs and diagnostic systems by the scientific community and pharmaceutical companies. The SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the cells by the interaction between the receptor-binding domain (RBD) present in the viral surface spike protein and its human receptor ACE2. The RBD protein is therefore considered as the target for potential subunit-based vaccines. METHODS AND RESULTS: We evaluate the use of Nicotiana benthamiana plants as the host to transiently-producing recombinant RBD (RBDr) protein. The identity of the plant-produced RBDr was confirmed by immune assays and mass spectrometry. Immunogenicity was confirmed through the specific antibodies generated in all of the immunized mice compared to the PBS treated group. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusions, the immunogenicity of the RBDr produced in N. benthamiana was confirmed. These findings support the use of plants as an antigen expression system for the rapid development of vaccine candidates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Mice , Pandemics/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Tobacco/genetics , Tobacco/metabolism , Vaccines, Subunit
19.
Front Immunol ; 13: 832106, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809389

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the most devastating pandemic of the century, which is still far from over. The remarkable success of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines is the working hope, but the evolving variants are the huge concern that can turn the tide. Potential immune escape mutations (PIEMs) in the past and circulating variants were not studied at large scale (all available data). Hence, the conservation of antigenic determinants (epitopes) was analyzed in all available sequences of SARS-CoV-2 according to time (months), proteins, hosts, and variants. Numerous highly conserved B- and T-cell epitopes were identified in 24 proteins of SARS-CoV-2. A decrease in the conservation of epitopes with time was observed in almost all proteins, which was more rapid in neutralizing epitopes. Delta variant still has the highest PIEM in the circulating strains, which pose threat to the effectiveness of current vaccines. The inclusion of identified, highly conserved, and important epitopes in subunit vaccines can increase vaccine effectiveness against evolving variants. Trends in the conservation of epitopes in different proteins, hosts, and variants with time may also help to inspire the counter measure against the current pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit
20.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 18(5): 2060667, 2022 Nov 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1806176

ABSTRACT

Alum adjuvant has always been the first choice when designing a vaccine. Conventional aluminum adjuvant includes aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, and amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate (AAHS), which could effectively induce the humoral, and to a lesser extent, cellular immune responses. Their safety is widely accepted for a variety of vaccines. However, conventional alum adjuvant is not an ideal choice for a vaccine antigen with poor immunogenicity, especially the subunit vaccine in which cellular response is highly demanded. The outbreak of COVID-19 requires a delicately designed vaccine without the antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) effect to ensure the safety. A sufficiently powerful adjuvant that can induce both Th1 and Th2 immune responses is necessary to reduce the risk of ADE. These circumstances all bring new challenges to the conventional alum adjuvant. However, turning conventional microscale alum adjuvant into nanoscale is a new solution to these problems. Nanoscale alum owns a higher surface volume ratio, can absorb much more antigens, and promote the ability to stimulate the antigen-presenting cells (APCs) via different mechanisms. In this review, the exceptional performance of nano alum adjuvant and their preparation methods will be discussed. The potential safety concern of nano alum is also addressed. Based on the different mechanisms, the potential application of nano alum will also be introduced.


Subject(s)
Aluminum , COVID-19 , Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Alum Compounds , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Vaccines, Subunit
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