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1.
Theranostics ; 12(14): 6422-6436, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2203053

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine outperforms other kinds of cancer immunotherapy due to its high response rates, easy preparation, and wide applicability, which is considered as one of the most promising forms of next-generation cancer therapies. However, the inherent instability and insufficient protein expression duration of mRNA limit the efficacy and widespread application of the vaccine. Methods: Here, we first tested the possibility of a novel circular RNA (circRNA) platform for protein expression and compare its duration with linear RNA. Then, we developed a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) system for circRNA delivery in vitro and in vivo. Next, the innate and adaptive immune response of circRNA-LNP complex was evaluated in vivo. The anti-tumor efficacy of circRNA-LNP was further confirmed in three tumor models. Finally, the possibility of combination therapy with circRNA-LNP and adoptive cell transfer therapy was further investigated in a late-stage tumor model. Results: We successfully increased the stability of the RNA vaccine by circularizing the linear RNA molecules to form highly stable circRNA molecules which exhibited durable protein expression ability. By encapsulating the antigen-coding circRNA in LNP enabling in vivo expression, we established a novel circRNA vaccine platform, which was capable of triggering robust innate and adaptive immune activation and showed superior anti-tumor efficacy in multiple mouse tumor models. Conclusions: Overall, our circRNA vaccine platform provides a novel prospect for the development of cancer RNA vaccines in a wide range of hard-to-treat malignancies.


Subject(s)
Cancer Vaccines , Nanoparticles , Neoplasms , Animals , Liposomes , Mice , Neoplasms/therapy , RNA/genetics , RNA, Circular/genetics , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
3.
Eur J Cancer ; 171: 143-149, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2178267

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The protective role against SARS-CoV-2 infection by the third booster dose of mRNA vaccines in cancer patients with solid malignancies is presently unknown. We prospectively investigated the occurrence of COVID-19 in cancer patients on active therapy after the booster vaccine dose. METHODS: Cancer patients on treatment at the Center for Immuno-Oncology (CIO) of the University Hospital of Siena, Italy, and health care workers at CIO who had received a booster third dose of mRNA vaccine entered a systematic follow-up monitoring period to prospectively assess their potential risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Serological and microneutralization assay were utilized to assess levels of anti-spike IgG, and of neutralizing antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 Wild Type, Delta and Omicron variants, respectively, after the booster dose and after negativization of the nasopharyngeal swab for those who had developed COVID-19. RESULTS: Ninety cancer patients with solid tumors on active treatment (Cohort 1) and 30 health care workers (Cohort 2) underwent a booster third dose of mRNA vaccine. After the booster dose, the median value of anti-spike IgG was higher (p = 0.009) in patients than in healthy subjects. Remarkably, 11/90 (12%) patients and 11/30 (37%) healthy subjects tested positive to SARS-CoV-2 infection during the monitoring period. Similar levels of anti-spike IgG and of neutralizing antibodies against all the investigated variants, with geometric mean titers of neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron being the lowest were detected after the booster dose and after COVID-19 in both Cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: The occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection we observed in a sizable proportion of booster-dosed cancer patients and in healthy subjects during the Omicron outbreak indicates that highly specific vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 variants are urgently required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Neoplasms/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , mRNA Vaccines
4.
Front Immunol ; 13: 1017590, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2142027

ABSTRACT

Background: In response to SARS-CoV-2 mutations and waning antibody levels after two-dose inactivated vaccines, we assessed whether a third dose of recombinant protein subunit vaccine (ZF2001) boosts immune responses. Methods: An open-label single-center non-random trial was conducted on people aged 18 years and above at five sites in China. All participants received a two-dose inactivated vaccine (CoronaVac) as their prime doses within 3-9 months of the trial. Primary outcomes were safety and immunogenicity, primarily the geometric mean titers (GMTs) of neutralizing antibodies to live wildtype SARS-CoV-2. Results: A total of 480 participants (median age, 51; range 21-84 years) previously vaccinated with two-dose CoronaVac received a third booster dose of ZF2001 3-4, 5-6, or 7-9-months later. The overall incidence of adverse reactions within 30 days after vaccination was 5.83% (28/480). No serious adverse reactions were reported after the third dose of ZF2001. GMTs in the 3-4-, 5-6-, and 7-9-month groups before vaccination were 3.96, 4.60, and 3.78, respectively. On Day 14, GMTs increased to 33.06, 47.51, and 44.12, respectively. After the booster, GMTs showed no significant difference among the three prime-boost interval groups (all P>0.05). Additionally, GMTs in older adults were lower than those in younger adults on Day 14 for the three groups (P=0.0005, P<0.0001, and P<0.0001). Conclusion: Heterologous boosting with ZF2001 was safe and immunogenic, and prime-boost intervals did not affect the immune response. The immune response was weaker in older than younger adults.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Aged , Humans , Middle Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Protein Subunits , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Inactivated/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Subunit/adverse effects , Vaccines, Synthetic/adverse effects , Young Adult , Adult , Aged, 80 and over
5.
Front Immunol ; 13: 980231, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2142007

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an infectious acute respiratory disease caused by a newly emerging RNA virus, is a still-growing pandemic that has caused more than 6 million deaths globally and has seriously threatened the lives and health of people across the world. Currently, several drugs have been used in the clinical treatment of COVID-19, such as small molecules, neutralizing antibodies, and monoclonal antibodies. In addition, several vaccines have been used to prevent the spread of the pandemic, such as adenovirus vector vaccines, inactivated vaccines, recombinant subunit vaccines, and nucleic acid vaccines. However, the efficacy of vaccines and the onset of adverse reactions vary among individuals. Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that circular RNAs (circRNAs) are crucial regulators of viral infections and antiviral immune responses and are heavily involved in COVID-19 pathologies. During novel coronavirus infection, circRNAs not only directly affect the transcription process and interfere with viral replication but also indirectly regulate biological processes, including virus-host receptor binding and the immune response. Consequently, understanding the expression and function of circRNAs during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection will provide novel insights into the development of circRNA-based methods. In this review, we summarize recent progress on the roles and underlying mechanisms of circRNAs that regulate the inflammatory response, viral replication, immune evasion, and cytokines induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection, and thus highlighting the diagnostic and therapeutic challenges in the treatment of COVID-19 and future research directions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , RNA, Circular/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Inactivated , Virus Replication , Vaccines, Synthetic
6.
Front Immunol ; 13: 892331, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141899

ABSTRACT

Introduction: In immunocompromised patients, SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine has been used in Italy from the beginning of the vaccination campaign, but several studies have shown that the serological response of onco-hematological patients was reduced compared to healthy subjects, due to the state of immunosuppression because of both underlying disease and administered therapy. Methods: We evaluated the association of anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG titers in 215 hematological patients with clinical and demographic variables to verify if it was possible to identify predictive parameters of serological response, as well as using a control group, consisting of healthy health workers of San Carlo Hospital in Potenza. Anti-SARS-CoV2 IgG titers were evaluated after 30-45 days post second dose vaccine using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay technology. Results: Patients with hematological malignancies, compared with the control arm, had both a mean concentration of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG significantly lower and a seroconversion rate numerically lower. All chronic lymphatic leukemia patients showed levels of antibody titer below the mean concentration, also in only clinical surveillance patients. Comparing serological response in hematological malignancies, only acute leukemia patients who were off therapy had the highest seroconversion rate among the patients' cohorts and a mean antibody concentration greater than the control arm. Patients treated with steroids and rituximab showed a lower level of anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG. Differences in anti-spike IgG levels among chronic myeloid leukemia patients stratified according to tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy and molecular response were observed, and they could have interesting implications on the evaluation of the effects of these drugs on the immune system, but having not reached statistical significance at the moment. The cohort of patients who received a stem cell transplant was very heterogeneous because it included different hematological malignancies and different types of transplant; however, a mean concentration of anti-SARS-CoV2 IgG greater than the control arm was reported. Indeed, among patients who performed a transplant for over 6 months only one had a spike IgG concentration below the cutoff. Conclusions: Our data confirm reduced serological response in hematological patients after anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. However, we found a great diversity of SARS-CoV-2 antibody response according to types of pathologies and therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematologic Neoplasms , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Hematologic Neoplasms/therapy , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
7.
Front Immunol ; 13: 878943, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141866

ABSTRACT

Flu, a viral infection caused by the influenza virus, is still a global public health concern with potential to cause seasonal epidemics and pandemics. Vaccination is considered the most effective protective strategy against the infection. However, given the high plasticity of the virus and the suboptimal immunogenicity of existing influenza vaccines, scientists are moving toward the development of universal vaccines. An important property of universal vaccines is their ability to induce heterosubtypic immunity, i.e., a wide immune response coverage toward different influenza subtypes. With the increasing number of studies and mounting evidence on the safety and efficacy of recombinant influenza vaccines (RIVs), they have been proposed as promising platforms for the development of universal vaccines. This review highlights the current progress and advances in the development of RIVs in the context of heterosubtypic immunity induction toward universal vaccine production. In particular, this review discussed existing knowledge on influenza and vaccine development, current hemagglutinin-based RIVs in the market and in the pipeline, other potential vaccine targets for RIVs (neuraminidase, matrix 1 and 2, nucleoprotein, polymerase acidic, and basic 1 and 2 antigens), and deantigenization process. This review also provided discussion points and future perspectives in looking at RIVs as potential universal vaccine candidates for influenza.


Subject(s)
Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Orthomyxoviridae Infections , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunity , Vaccine Development , Vaccines, Synthetic
9.
Mucosal Immunol ; 15(6): 1405-1415, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2133297

ABSTRACT

Multiple SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates have been approved for use and have had a major impact on the COVID-19 pandemic. There remains, however, a significant need for vaccines that are safe, easily transportable and protective against infection, as well as disease. Mucosal vaccination is favored for its ability to induce immune memory at the site of infection, making it appealing for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine strategies. In this study we performed in-depth analysis of the immune responses in mice to a subunit recombinant spike protein vaccine formulated with the delta-inulin adjuvant Advax when administered intratracheally (IT), versus intramuscular delivery (IM). Both routes produced robust neutralizing antibody titers (NAb) and generated sterilizing immunity against SARS-CoV-2. IT delivery, however, produced significantly higher systemic and lung-local NAb that resisted waning up to six months post vaccination, and only IT delivery generated inducible bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (iBALT), a site of lymphocyte antigen presentation and proliferation. This was coupled with robust and long-lasting lung tissue-resident memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells that were not observed in IM-vaccinated mice. This study provides a detailed view of the lung-resident cellular response to IT vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 and demonstrates the importance of delivery site selection in the development of vaccine candidates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Mice , Animals , Humans , Inulin , COVID-19 Vaccines , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Immunologic Memory , Pandemics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunization , Vaccines, Synthetic , Vaccination , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Gastric Mucosa , Lung
10.
Vaccine ; 40(50): 7187-7190, 2022 Nov 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2132600

ABSTRACT

In 2018, CDC recommended a highly efficacious adjuvanted recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) as a 2-dose series for prevention of herpes zoster (HZ) for immunocompetent persons age ≥ 50 years, with the 2nd dose recommended 2-6 months after the 1st dose. We estimated second-dose RZV series completion in the U.S. among 50-64-year-olds using two administrative databases. Second-dose RZV series completion was ∼70% within 6-months and 80% within 12-months of first dose. Among those who received only 1 RZV dose with at least 12 months of follow-up time, 96% had a missed opportunity for a second-dose vaccination, defined as a provider or pharmacy visit, among whom 36% had a visit for influenza or pneumococcal vaccination within 2-12 months of their first-dose of RZV. We found that RZV series completion rates in 50-64-year-olds was high. Availability of RZV at pharmacies has potentially helped increase series completion, but missed opportunities remain.


Subject(s)
Herpes Zoster Vaccine , Herpes Zoster , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Adult , Humans , United States , Herpes Zoster/prevention & control , Vaccines, Synthetic
11.
Front Immunol ; 13: 896958, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2123410

ABSTRACT

Vaccines can prevent many millions of illnesses against infectious diseases and save numerous lives every year. However, traditional vaccines such as inactivated viral and live attenuated vaccines cannot adapt to emerging pandemics due to their time-consuming development. With the global outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, the virus continues to evolve and mutate, producing mutants with enhanced transmissibility and virulence; the rapid development of vaccines against such emerging global pandemics becomes more and more critical. In recent years, mRNA vaccines have been of significant interest in combating emerging infectious diseases due to their rapid development and large-scale production advantages. However, their development still suffers from many hurdles such as their safety, cellular delivery, uptake, and response to their manufacturing, logistics, and storage. More efforts are still required to optimize the molecular designs of mRNA molecules with increased protein expression and enhanced structural stability. In addition, a variety of delivery systems are also needed to achieve effective delivery of vaccines. In this review, we highlight the advances in mRNA vaccines against various infectious diseases and discuss the molecular design principles and delivery systems of associated mRNA vaccines. The current state of the clinical application of mRNA vaccine pipelines against various infectious diseases and the challenge, safety, and protective effect of associated vaccines are also discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases, Emerging , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/prevention & control , Humans , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Technology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Attenuated , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
12.
Sci Adv ; 8(45): eabp9961, 2022 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119401

ABSTRACT

Knowledge of the mechanisms underpinning the development of protective immunity conferred by mRNA vaccines is fragmentary. Here, we investigated responses to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mRNA vaccination via high-temporal resolution blood transcriptome profiling. The first vaccine dose elicited modest interferon and adaptive immune responses, which peaked on days 2 and 5, respectively. The second vaccine dose, in contrast, elicited sharp day 1 interferon, inflammation, and erythroid cell responses, followed by a day 5 plasmablast response. Both post-first and post-second dose interferon signatures were associated with the subsequent development of antibody responses. Yet, we observed distinct interferon response patterns after each of the doses that may reflect quantitative or qualitative differences in interferon induction. Distinct interferon response phenotypes were also observed in patients with COVID-19 and were associated with severity and differences in duration of intensive care. Together, this study also highlights the benefits of adopting high-frequency sampling protocols in profiling vaccine-elicited immune responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic , Interferons
13.
Lancet Respir Med ; 10(6): 566-572, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2113682

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Reports have suggested that the efficacy of vaccines against COVID-19 might have fallen since the delta (B.1.617.2) SARS-CoV-2 variant replaced the alpha (B.1.1.7) variant as the predominant variant. We aimed to investigate, for the two main classes of vaccine, whether efficacy against severe COVID-19 has decreased since delta became the predominant variant and whether the efficacy of two doses of vaccine against severe COVID-19 wanes with time since second dose. METHODS: In the REACT-SCOT case-control study, vaccine efficacy was estimated using a matched case-control design that includes all diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Scotland up to Sept 8, 2021. For every incident case of COVID-19 in the Scottish population, ten controls matched for age rounded to the nearest year, sex, and primary care practice, and alive on the day of presentation of the case that they were matched to were selected using the Community Health Index database. To minimise ascertainment bias we prespecified the primary outcome measure to assess vaccine efficacy as severe COVID-19, defined as diagnosed patients with entry to critical care within 21 days of first positive test, death within 28 days of first positive test, or any death for which COVID-19 was coded as underlying cause. Although the data extracted for this study included cases presenting up to Sept 22, 2021, the analyses reported here are restricted to cases and controls presenting from Dec 1, 2020, to Sept 8, 2021, ensuring follow-up for at least 14 days after presentation date to allow classification of hospitalisation and (for most cases) severity based on entry to critical care or fatal outcome. FINDINGS: During the study period, a total of 5645 severe cases of COVID-19 were recorded; these were matched to 50 096 controls. Of the severe cases, 4495 (80%) were not vaccinated, and of the controls, 36 879 (74%) were not vaccinated. Of the severe cases of COVID-19 who had been vaccinated, 389 had received an mRNA vaccine and 759 had received the ChAdOx1 vaccine. The efficacy of vaccination against severe COVID-19 decreased in May, 2021, coinciding with the replacement of the alpha SARS-CoV-2 variant by the delta variant in Scotland, but this decrease was reversed over the following month. In the most recent time window centred on July 29, 2021, the efficacy of two doses was 91% (95% CI 87-94) for the ChAdOx1 vaccine and 92% (88-95) for mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccines. The efficacy of the ChAdOx1 vaccine against severe COVID-19 declined with time since second dose to 69% (95% CI 52-80) at 20 weeks from second dose. The efficacy of mRNA vaccines declined in the first ten weeks from second dose but more slowly thereafter to 93% (88-96) at 20 weeks from second dose. INTERPRETATION: Our results are reassuring with respect to concerns that vaccine efficacy against severe COVID-19 might have fallen since the delta variant became predominant, or that efficacy of mRNA vaccines wanes within the first 5-6 months after second dose. However, the efficacy of the ChAdOx1 vaccine against severe COVID-19 wanes substantially by 20 weeks from second dose. Efficacy of mRNA vaccines after 20 weeks and against newer variants remains to be established. Our findings support the case for additional protective measures for those at risk of severe disease, including, but not limited to, booster doses, at times when transmission rates are high or expected to rise. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Case-Control Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Scotland/epidemiology , Vaccine Efficacy , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
15.
Nature ; 593(7857): 136-141, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2114170

ABSTRACT

Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is uncontrolled in many parts of the world; control is compounded in some areas by the higher transmission potential of the B.1.1.7 variant1, which has now been reported in 94 countries. It is unclear whether the response of the virus to vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 on the basis of the prototypic strain will be affected by the mutations found in B.1.1.7. Here we assess the immune responses of individuals after vaccination with the mRNA-based vaccine BNT162b22. We measured neutralizing antibody responses after the first and second immunizations using pseudoviruses that expressed the wild-type spike protein or a mutated spike protein that contained the eight amino acid changes found in the B.1.1.7 variant. The sera from individuals who received the vaccine exhibited a broad range of neutralizing titres against the wild-type pseudoviruses that were modestly reduced against the B.1.1.7 variant. This reduction was also evident in sera from some patients who had recovered from COVID-19. Decreased neutralization of the B.1.1.7 variant was also observed for monoclonal antibodies that target the N-terminal domain (9 out of 10) and the receptor-binding motif (5 out of 31), but not for monoclonal antibodies that recognize the receptor-binding domain that bind outside the receptor-binding motif. Introduction of the mutation that encodes the E484K substitution in the B.1.1.7 background to reflect a newly emerged variant of concern (VOC 202102/02) led to a more-substantial loss of neutralizing activity by vaccine-elicited antibodies and monoclonal antibodies (19 out of 31) compared with the loss of neutralizing activity conferred by the mutations in B.1.1.7 alone. The emergence of the E484K substitution in a B.1.1.7 background represents a threat to the efficacy of the BNT162b2 vaccine.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immune Evasion/immunology , Immunization, Passive , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage
16.
Immunity ; 55(11): 1993-2005, 2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2105131

ABSTRACT

The lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-encapsulated, nucleoside-modified mRNA platform has been used to generate safe and effective vaccines in record time against COVID-19. Here, we review the current understanding of the manner whereby mRNA vaccines induce innate immune activation and how this contributes to protective immunity. We discuss innate immune sensing of mRNA vaccines at the cellular and intracellular levels and consider the contribution of both the mRNA and the LNP components to their immunogenicity. A key message that is emerging from recent observations is that the LNP carrier acts as a powerful adjuvant for this novel vaccine platform. In this context, we highlight important gaps in understanding and discuss how new insight into the mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of mRNA-LNP vaccines may enable tailoring mRNA and carrier molecules to develop vaccines with greater effectiveness and milder adverse events in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccines, Synthetic , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Immunity, Innate
17.
J Control Release ; 348: 84-94, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2103001

ABSTRACT

Circular RNAs (circRNA) is a class of natural (biogenic) or synthetic closed RNA without 5' or 3' ends. Meanwhile, their unique covalently-closed structures of circRNA prevent RNA degradation by exonucleases, thereby empowering them with high pharmaceutical stability and biostability relative to current standard-of-care linear mRNA. Natural circRNA can be non-coding RNAs as well as protein-coding RNA, the latter of which was recently discovered. The physiological functions of biogenic circRNAs, which largely remain elusive, include protein and gene sponges, cell activity modulators, and protein translation. The discovery that the circRNA levels can be correlated with some human diseases empowers circRNA with the potential as a novel type of disease biomarkers and a noncanonical class of therapeutic targets. Recently, synthetic circRNA have been engineered to explore their applications as a novel class of mRNA therapeutics and vaccines. In this review, we will discuss the current understanding of the biogenesis and physiological functions of natural circRNAs, the approaches to circRNA synthesis, and current research in the exploration of endogenous circRNAs as novel therapeutic targets and testing circRNAs as an emerging class of RNA therapeutics and vaccines.


Subject(s)
RNA, Circular , RNA , Humans , RNA/genetics , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
18.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(44): 1401-1406, 2022 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2100531

ABSTRACT

On August 31, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized bivalent formulations of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines; these vaccines include mRNA encoding the spike protein from the original (ancestral) strain of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and from the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variants BA.4 and BA.5 (BA.4/BA.5). These bivalent mRNA vaccines were authorized for use as a single booster dose ≥2 months after completion of primary series or monovalent booster vaccination; Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster was authorized for persons aged ≥12 years and Moderna for adults aged ≥18 years.*,† On September 1, 2022, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that all persons aged ≥12 years receive an age-appropriate bivalent mRNA booster dose.§ To characterize the safety of bivalent mRNA booster doses, CDC reviewed adverse events and health impacts reported after receipt of bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna booster doses during August 31-October 23, 2022, to v-safe,¶ a voluntary smartphone-based U.S. safety surveillance system established by CDC to monitor adverse events after COVID-19 vaccination, and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS),** a U.S. passive vaccine safety surveillance system managed by CDC and FDA (1). During August 31-October 23, 2022, approximately 14.4 million persons aged ≥12 years received a bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose, and 8.2 million adults aged ≥18 years received a bivalent Moderna booster dose.†† Among the 211,959 registrants aged ≥12 years who reported receiving a bivalent booster dose to v-safe, injection site and systemic reactions were frequently reported in the week after vaccination (60.8% and 54.8%, respectively); fewer than 1% of v-safe registrants reported receiving medical care. VAERS received 5,542 reports of adverse events after bivalent booster vaccination among persons aged ≥12 years; 95.5% of reports were nonserious and 4.5% were serious events. Health care providers and patients can be reassured that adverse events reported after a bivalent booster dose are consistent with those reported after monovalent doses. Health impacts after COVID-19 vaccination are less frequent and less severe than those associated with COVID-19 illness (2).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , United States/epidemiology , Adolescent , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , BNT162 Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic/adverse effects , RNA, Messenger
19.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(21)2022 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090204

ABSTRACT

Messenger RNA (mRNA) technology has already been successfully tested preclinically and there are ongoing clinical trials for protein replacement purposes; however, more effort has been put into the development of prevention strategies against infectious diseases. Apparently, mRNA vaccine approval against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a landmark for opening new opportunities for managing diverse health disorders based on this approach. Indeed, apart from infectious diseases, it has also been widely tested in numerous directions including cancer prevention and the treatment of inherited disorders. Interestingly, self-amplifying RNA (saRNA)-based technology is believed to display more developed RNA therapy compared with conventional mRNA technique in terms of its lower dosage requirements, relatively fewer side effects, and possessing long-lasting effects. Nevertheless, some challenges still exist that need to be overcome in order to achieve saRNA-based drug approval in clinics. Hence, the current review discusses the feasibility of saRNA utility for protein replacement therapy on various health disorders including rare hereditary diseases and also provides a detailed overview of saRNA advantages, its molecular structure, mechanism of action, and relevant delivery platforms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA , Humans , RNA/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic , RNA, Messenger/genetics
20.
Front Immunol ; 13: 982155, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089843

ABSTRACT

Our study (NCT04800133) aimed to determine the safety and immunogenicity in patients with IEIs receiving a 3-dose primary series of mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 (age 12+) or inactivated whole-virion vaccine CoronaVac (age 3+) in Hong Kong, including Omicron BA.1 neutralization, in a nonrandomized manner. Intradermal vaccination was also studied. Thirty-nine patients were vaccinated, including 16 with homologous intramuscular 0.3ml BNT162b2 and 17 with homologous intramuscular 0.5ml CoronaVac. Two patients received 3 doses of intradermal 0.5ml CoronaVac, and 4 patients received 2 doses of intramuscular BNT162b2 and the third dose with intradermal BNT162b2. No safety concerns were identified. Inadequate S-RBD IgG and surrogate virus neutralization responses were found after 2 doses in patients with humoral immunodeficiencies and especially so against BA.1. Dose 3 of either vaccine increased S-RBD IgG response. T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 antigens were detected in vaccinated IEI patients by intracellular cytokine staining on flow cytometry. Intradermal third dose vaccine led to high antibody response in 4 patients. The primary vaccination series of BNT162b2 and CoronaVac in adults and children with IEIs should include 3 doses for optimal immunogenicity.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Child , Child, Preschool , Cytokines , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Inactivated , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
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