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Vaccines, Volume 11, Issue 5 (May 2023) – 132 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Tropical diseases caused by filarial nematodes such as lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) and onchocerciasis (river blindness) affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Despite decades of research, no vaccines against any filaria or helminths in general are available for use in human patients as of 2023. In this study by Scheunemann et al., the use of nucleic acid receptor agonists as potential vaccine adjuvants for filarial infections was evaluated in the Litomosoides sigmodontis rodent model. The authors reported that the use of poly(I:C), a TLR-3, MDA5, RIG-I ligand, and 3pRNA, a RIG-I ligand, improved the protective efficacy in comparison to the vaccination with irradiated L3 larvae alone and elicited stronger parasite-specific immune responses, highlighting the use of nucleic acid receptor agonists as promising vaccine strategies for filarial and other helminth infections. View this paper
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23 pages, 1428 KiB  
Review
Vaccines against Tuberculosis: Where Are We Now?
by Shruti Srivastava, Sajal Dey and Sangita Mukhopadhyay
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1013; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051013 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2769
Abstract
Tuberculosis (TB) is among the top 10 leading causes of death in low-income countries. Statistically, TB kills more than 30,000 people each week and leads to more deaths than any other infectious disease, such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and malaria. TB treatment [...] Read more.
Tuberculosis (TB) is among the top 10 leading causes of death in low-income countries. Statistically, TB kills more than 30,000 people each week and leads to more deaths than any other infectious disease, such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and malaria. TB treatment is largely dependent on BCG vaccination and impacted by the inefficacy of drugs, absence of advanced vaccines, misdiagnosis improper treatment, and social stigma. The BCG vaccine provides partial effectiveness in demographically distinct populations and the prevalence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB incidences demands the design of novel TB vaccines. Various strategies have been employed to design vaccines against TB, such as: (a) The protein subunit vaccine; (b) The viral vector vaccine; (c) The inactivation of whole-cell vaccine, using related mycobacteria, (d) Recombinant BCG (rBCG) expressing Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) protein or some non-essential gene deleted BCG. There are, approximately, 19 vaccine candidates in different phases of clinical trials. In this article, we review the development of TB vaccines, their status and potential in the treatment of TB. Heterologous immune responses generated by advanced vaccines will contribute to long-lasting immunity and might protect us from both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB. Therefore, advanced vaccine candidates need to be identified and developed to boost the human immune system against TB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Research in Pathogens-Host Immune)
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16 pages, 2925 KiB  
Article
A Third Dose of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine Improves Immune Response in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients
by Maria Cecilia Poli, Cecilia Vial, Emma Rey-Jurado, Natalia González, Lina Jimena Cortés, Juan Hormazabal, Carolina Ramírez-Riffo, Javiera de la Cruz and Camilo Ulloa
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1012; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051012 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1495
Abstract
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients have an increased risk of morbidity and mortality following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccination in these patients is prioritized, and monitoring of the immune response is paramount to define further vaccination strategies. This prospective study included a cohort of 100 [...] Read more.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients have an increased risk of morbidity and mortality following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccination in these patients is prioritized, and monitoring of the immune response is paramount to define further vaccination strategies. This prospective study included a cohort of 100 adult CKD patients: 48 with kidney transplant (KT) and 52 on hemodialysis without prior COVID-19. The patients were assessed for humoral and cellular immune responses after four months of an anti-SARS-CoV-2 primary two-dose vaccination scheme (CoronaVac or BNT162b2) and one month after a booster third dose of BNT162b2 vaccine. We identified poor cellular and humoral immune responses in the CKD patients after a primary vaccination scheme, and these responses were improved by a booster. Robust polyfunctional CD4+ T cell responses were observed in the KT patients after a booster, and this could be attributed to a higher proportion of the patients having been vaccinated with homologous BNT162b2 schemes. However, even after the booster, the KT patients exhibited lower neutralizing antibodies, attributable to specific immunosuppressive treatments. Four patients suffered severe COVID-19 despite three-dose vaccination, and all had low polyfunctional T-cell responses, underscoring the importance of this functional subset in viral protection. In conclusion, a booster dose of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine in CKD patients improves the impaired humoral and cellular immune responses observed after a primary vaccination scheme. Full article
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24 pages, 985 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Impact of Vaccination on COVID-19 Burden of Disease in the Adult and Elderly Population: A Systematic Review of Italian Evidence
by Giovanna Elisa Calabrò, Ciro Pappalardo, Floriana D’Ambrosio, Michele Vece, Chiara Lupi, Alberto Lontano, Mattia Di Russo, Roberto Ricciardi and Chiara de Waure
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051011 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1671
Abstract
COVID-19 is a major global health threat, with millions of confirmed cases and deaths worldwide. Containment and mitigation strategies, including vaccination, have been implemented to reduce transmission and protect the population. We conducted two systematic reviews to collect nonrandomized studies investigating the effects [...] Read more.
COVID-19 is a major global health threat, with millions of confirmed cases and deaths worldwide. Containment and mitigation strategies, including vaccination, have been implemented to reduce transmission and protect the population. We conducted two systematic reviews to collect nonrandomized studies investigating the effects of vaccination on COVID-19-related complications and deaths in the Italian population. We considered studies conducted in Italian settings and written in English that contained data on the effects of vaccination on COVID-19-related mortality and complications. We excluded studies that pertained to the pediatric population. In total, we included 10 unique studies in our two systematic reviews. The results showed that fully vaccinated individuals had a lower risk of death, severe symptoms, and hospitalization compared to unvaccinated individuals. The review also looked at the impact of vaccination on post-COVID-19 syndrome, the effectiveness of booster doses in older individuals, and nationwide adverse events. Our work highlights the crucial role that vaccination campaigns have played in reducing the burden of COVID-19 disease in the Italian adult population, positively impacting the pandemic trajectory in Italy. Full article
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14 pages, 3359 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Vaccination in the WHO African Region: Progress Made in 2022 and Factors Associated
by Franck Mboussou, Bridget Farham, Sheillah Nsasiirwe, Ajiri Atagbaza, Daniel Oyaole, Phionah Lynn Atuhebwe, Victor Alegana, Fred Osei-sarpong, Ado Bwaka, Gilson Paluku, Amos Petu, Oniovo Efe-Aluta, Akpaka Kalu, Magaran Monzon Bagayoko and Benido Impouma
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1010; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051010 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2033
Abstract
This study summarizes progress made in rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations in the African region in 2022, and analyzes factors associated with vaccination coverage. Data on vaccine uptake reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa by Member States between January [...] Read more.
This study summarizes progress made in rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations in the African region in 2022, and analyzes factors associated with vaccination coverage. Data on vaccine uptake reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa by Member States between January 2021 and December 2022, as well as publicly available health and socio-economic data, were used. A negative binomial regression was performed to analyze factors associated with vaccination coverage in 2022. As of the end of 2022, 308.1 million people had completed the primary vaccination series, representing 26.4% of the region’s population, compared to 6.3% at the end of 2021. The percentage of health workers with complete primary series was 40.9%. Having carried out at least one high volume mass vaccination campaign in 2022 was associated with high vaccination coverage (β = 0.91, p < 0.0001), while higher WHO funding spent per person vaccinated in 2022 was correlated with lower vaccination coverage (β = −0.26, p < 0.03). All countries should expand efforts to integrate COVID-19 vaccinations into routine immunization and primary health care, and increase investment in vaccine demand generation during the transition period that follows the acute phase of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Future Trends of COVID-19 Vaccination)
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11 pages, 2015 KiB  
Article
Flattening the Curve after the Initial Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Data-Driven Modeling Analysis for the Omicron Pandemic in China
by Jiaqi Sun, Yusi Li, Lin-Fan Xiao, Ning-Yi Shao and Miao Liu
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1009; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051009 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1473
Abstract
China is relaxing COVID-19 measures from the “dynamic zero tolerance” (DZT) level. The “flatten-the-curve” (FTC) strategy, which decreases and maintains the low rate of infection to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system by adopting relaxed nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) after the outbreak, has been perceived [...] Read more.
China is relaxing COVID-19 measures from the “dynamic zero tolerance” (DZT) level. The “flatten-the-curve” (FTC) strategy, which decreases and maintains the low rate of infection to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system by adopting relaxed nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) after the outbreak, has been perceived as the most appropriate and effective method in preventing the spread of the Omicron variant. Hence, we established an improved data-driven model of Omicron transmission based on the age-structured stochastic compartmental susceptible-latent-infectious-removed-susceptible model constructed by Cai to deduce the overall prevention effect throughout China. At the current level of immunity without the application of any NPIs, more than 1.27 billion (including asymptomatic individuals) were infected within 90 days. Moreover, the Omicron outbreak would result in 1.49 million deaths within 180 days. The application of FTC could decrease the number of deaths by 36.91% within 360 days. The strict implementation of FTC policy combined with completed vaccination and drug use, which only resulted in 0.19 million deaths in an age-stratified model, will help end the pandemic within about 240 days. The pandemic would be successfully controlled within a shorter period of time without a high fatality rate; therefore, the FTC policy could be strictly implemented through enhancement of immunity and drug use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination Strategies for COVID-19)
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15 pages, 1192 KiB  
Article
Perceptions and Intention to Get Vaccinated against Mpox among the LGBTIQ+ Community during the 2022 Outbreak: A Cross-Sectional Study in Peru
by Julieta M. Araoz-Salinas, Brando Ortiz-Saavedra, Linda Ponce-Rosas, David R. Soriano-Moreno, Anderson N. Soriano-Moreno, Jorge Alave and Jose A. Gonzales-Zamora
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1008; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051008 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1755
Abstract
Vaccination against mpox can control the outbreak by targeting high-risk groups such as the LGBTIQ+ community. The aim of the study was to evaluate the perceptions and intentions to get vaccinated against mpox among the LGBTIQ+ community in Peru. We conducted a cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Vaccination against mpox can control the outbreak by targeting high-risk groups such as the LGBTIQ+ community. The aim of the study was to evaluate the perceptions and intentions to get vaccinated against mpox among the LGBTIQ+ community in Peru. We conducted a cross-sectional study from 1 November 2022 to 17 January 2023 in Peru. We included individuals over 18 years old, belonging to the LGBTIQ+ community, and residing in the departments of Lima and Callao. To evaluate the factors associated with the intention to be vaccinated, we used Poisson regression with robust variance to create a multivariate model. The study comprised 373 individuals who self-identified as members of the LGBTIQ+ community. The participants had a mean age of 31 years (SD ± 9), with 85.0% males and 75.3% reporting to be homosexual men. The majority (88.5%) expressed their intention to receive the vaccine against mpox. Believing that the vaccine is safe was associated with a higher intention to be vaccinated (aPR: 1.24; 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.50; p = 0.028). Our study population showed a high level of mpox vaccination intent. Educational campaigns reinforcing the concept of vaccine safety should be conducted to increase the intention and possibly the vaccination rate in the LGBTIQ+ community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines Uptakes and Public Health)
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13 pages, 1831 KiB  
Article
Subsequent Immunization of Pigs with African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) Seroimmunotype IV Vaccine Strain FK-32/135 and by Recombinant Plasmid DNA Containing the CD2v Derived from MK-200 ASFV Seroimmunotype III Strain Does Not Protect from Challenge with ASFV Seroimmunotype III
by Alexey D. Sereda, Anna S. Kazakova, Sanzhi G. Namsrayn, Mikhail E. Vlasov, Irina P. Sindryakova and Denis V. Kolbasov
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051007 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1780
Abstract
Understanding the immunological mechanisms of protection and the viral proteins involved in the induction of a protective immune response to the African swine fever virus (ASFV) is still limited. In the last years, the CD2v protein (gp110-140) of the ASFV has been proven [...] Read more.
Understanding the immunological mechanisms of protection and the viral proteins involved in the induction of a protective immune response to the African swine fever virus (ASFV) is still limited. In the last years, the CD2v protein (gp110-140) of the ASFV has been proven to be a serotype-specific protein. Current work is devoted to the investigation of the possibility of creating protection against virulent ASFV strain Mozambique-78 (seroimmunotype III) in pigs previously vaccinated with vaccine strain FK-32/135 (seroimmunotype IV) and then immunized with the pUBB76A_CD2v plasmid, containing a chimeric nucleotide sequence from the CD2v protein gene (EP402R, nucleotides from 49 to 651) from the MK-200 strain (seroimmunotype III). Vaccination with the ASFV vaccine strain FK-32/135 protects pigs from the disease caused by the strain with homologous seroimmunotype—France-32 (seroimmunotype IV). Our attempt to create balanced protection against virulent strain Mozambique-78 (seroimmunotype III) by induction of both humoral factors of immunity (by vaccination with strain FK-32/135 of seroimmunotype IV) and serotype-specific cellular immunity (by immunization with the plasmid pUBB76A_CD2v of seroimmunotype III) was unsuccessful. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV): Immunity and Vaccine Development)
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24 pages, 5471 KiB  
Article
Vaccinia Virus Strain MVA Expressing a Prefusion-Stabilized SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein Induces Robust Protection and Prevents Brain Infection in Mouse and Hamster Models
by María M. Lorenzo, Alejandro Marín-López, Kevin Chiem, Luis Jimenez-Cabello, Irfan Ullah, Sergio Utrilla-Trigo, Eva Calvo-Pinilla, Gema Lorenzo, Sandra Moreno, Chengjin Ye, Jun-Gyu Park, Alejandro Matía, Alejandro Brun, Juana M. Sánchez-Puig, Aitor Nogales, Walther Mothes, Pradeep D. Uchil, Priti Kumar, Javier Ortego, Erol Fikrig, Luis Martinez-Sobrido and Rafael Blascoadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1006; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051006 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2222
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of swift responses and the necessity of dependable technologies for vaccine development. Our team previously developed a fast cloning system for the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vaccine platform. In this study, we reported on the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of swift responses and the necessity of dependable technologies for vaccine development. Our team previously developed a fast cloning system for the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vaccine platform. In this study, we reported on the construction and preclinical testing of a recombinant MVA vaccine obtained using this system. We obtained recombinant MVA expressing the unmodified full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein containing the D614G amino-acid substitution (MVA-Sdg) and a version expressing a modified S protein containing amino-acid substitutions designed to stabilize the protein a in a pre-fusion conformation (MVA-Spf). S protein expressed by MVA-Sdg was found to be expressed and was correctly processed and transported to the cell surface, where it efficiently produced cell–cell fusion. Version Spf, however, was not proteolytically processed, and despite being transported to the plasma membrane, it failed to induce cell–cell fusion. We assessed both vaccine candidates in prime-boost regimens in the susceptible transgenic K18-human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (K18-hACE2) in mice and in golden Syrian hamsters. Robust immunity and protection from disease was induced with either vaccine in both animal models. Remarkably, the MVA-Spf vaccine candidate produced higher levels of antibodies, a stronger T cell response, and a higher degree of protection from challenge. In addition, the level of SARS-CoV-2 in the brain of MVA-Spf inoculated mice was decreased to undetectable levels. Those results add to our current experience and range of vaccine vectors and technologies for developing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Development)
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13 pages, 2748 KiB  
Article
A Booster with a Genotype-Matched Inactivated Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) Vaccine Candidate Provides Better Protection against a Virulent Genotype XIII.2 Virus
by Ismail Hossain, Jannatul Ferdous Subarna, Congriev Kumar Kabiraj, Jahan Ara Begum, Rokshana Parvin, Mathias Martins, Diego G. Diel, Emdadul Haque Chowdhury, Mohammad Rafiqul Islam and Mohammed Nooruzzaman
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1005; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051005 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2690
Abstract
Newcastle disease (ND) is endemic in Bangladesh. Locally produced or imported live Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vaccines based on lentogenic virus strains, locally produced live vaccines of the mesogenic Mukteswar strain, as well as imported inactivated vaccines of lentogenic strains, are being used [...] Read more.
Newcastle disease (ND) is endemic in Bangladesh. Locally produced or imported live Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vaccines based on lentogenic virus strains, locally produced live vaccines of the mesogenic Mukteswar strain, as well as imported inactivated vaccines of lentogenic strains, are being used in Bangladesh under different vaccination regimens. Despite these vaccinations, frequent outbreaks of ND are being reported in Bangladesh. Here we compared the efficacy of booster immunization with three different vaccines in chickens that had been primed with two doses of live LaSota vaccine. A total of 30 birds (Group A) were primed with two doses of live LaSota virus (genotype II) vaccine at days 7 and 28, while 20 birds (Group B) remained unvaccinated. At day 60, birds of Group A were divided into three sub-groups, which received booster immunizations with three different vaccines; A1: live LaSota vaccine, A2: inactivated LaSota vaccine, and A3: inactivated genotype XIII.2 vaccine (BD-C161/2010 strain from Bangladesh). Two weeks after booster vaccination (at day 74), all vaccinated birds (A1–A3) and half of the unvaccinated birds (B1) were challenged with a genotype XIII.2 virulent NDV (BD-C161/2010). A moderate antibody response was observed after the primary vaccination, which substantially increased after the booster vaccination in all groups. The mean HI titers induced by the inactivated LaSota vaccine (8.0 log2/5.0 log2 with LaSota/BD-C161/2010 HI antigen) and the inactivated BD-C161/2010 vaccine (6.7 log2/6.2 log2 with LaSota/BD-C161/2010 HI antigen) were significantly higher than those induced by the LaSota live booster vaccine (3.6 log2/2.6 log2 with LaSota/BD-C161/2010 HI antigen). Despite the differences in the antibody titers, all chickens (A1–A3) survived the virulent NDV challenge, while all the unvaccinated challenged birds died. Among the vaccinated groups, however, 50% of the chickens in Group A1 (live LaSota booster immunization) shed virus at 5- and 7-days post challenge (dpc), while 20% and 10% of the chickens in Group A2 (inactivated LaSota booster immunization) shed virus at 3 and 5 dpc, respectively, and only one chicken (10%) in Group A3 shed virus at 5 dpc. In conclusion, the genotype-matched inactivated NDV booster vaccine offers complete clinical protection and a significant reduction in virus shedding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Veterinary Vaccines)
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16 pages, 2350 KiB  
Article
Bovine Herpesvirus-4 Based Vaccine Provides Protective Immunity against Streptococcus suis Disease in a Rabbit Model
by Nihua Dong, Hester Nichols, Qing Sun, Xiaojun Chen, Jiayang Zheng, Zhixin Guan, Hailong Zhang, Andrew Davison, Yvonne Wezel, Zongjie Li, Beibei Li, Ke Liu, Donghua Shao, Yafeng Qiu, Jianhe Sun, Xiangdong Li, Mathew Upton, Zhiyong Ma, Michael A. Jarvis and Jianchao Wei
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051004 - 20 May 2023
Viewed by 1692
Abstract
Streptococcus suis (S. suis) is a bacterial pathogen of pigs that has a major animal health and economic impact on the pig industry. Bovine herpesvirus-4 (BoHV-4) is a new virus-based vaccine vector that has been used for the immunogenic delivery of [...] Read more.
Streptococcus suis (S. suis) is a bacterial pathogen of pigs that has a major animal health and economic impact on the pig industry. Bovine herpesvirus-4 (BoHV-4) is a new virus-based vaccine vector that has been used for the immunogenic delivery of antigens from a variety of pathogens. In the present study, two recombinant BoHV-4-based vectors were evaluated for their ability to induce immunity and protection against S. suis in a rabbit model. The GMD protein is a fusion protein consisting of multiple dominant B-cell epitopes ((B-cell dominant epitopes of GAPDH, MRP, and DLDH antigens) (BoHV-4/GMD)) and the second suilysin (SLY) (BoHV-4/SLY) from S. suis serotype 2 (SS2). Both GMD and SLY delivered by the BoHV-4 vectors were recognized by sera from SS2-infected rabbits. The vaccination of rabbits with the BoHV-4 vectors induced antibodies against SS2, as well as against additional S. suis serotypes, SS7 and SS9. However, sera from BoHV-4/GMD-vaccinated animals promoted a significant level of phagocytic activity by pulmonary alveolar macrophages (PAMs) against SS2, SS7, and SS9. In contrast, sera from rabbits immunized with BoHV-4/SLY induced PAM phagocytic activity against only SS2. In addition, BoHV-4 vaccines differed in the associated level of protection against lethal SS2 challenge, which ranged from high (71.4%) to low (12.5%) for BoHV-4/GMD and BoHV-4/SLY, respectively. These data suggest BoHV-4/GMD as a promising vaccine candidate against S. suis disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Attenuated/Inactivated/Live and Vectored Vaccines)
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12 pages, 2790 KiB  
Article
Comparison of the Immune Effects of an mRNA Vaccine and a Subunit Vaccine against Herpes Zoster Administered by Different Injection Methods
by Kangyang Lin, Han Cao, Ning Luan, Yunfei Wang, Jingping Hu and Cunbao Liu
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051003 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2139
Abstract
Previous studies have shown that the herpes zoster subunit vaccine Shingrix™ performs well in clinical trials. However, the key ingredient in its adjuvant, QS21, is extracted from rare plants in South America, so vaccine production is limited. Compared with subunit vaccines, mRNA vaccines [...] Read more.
Previous studies have shown that the herpes zoster subunit vaccine Shingrix™ performs well in clinical trials. However, the key ingredient in its adjuvant, QS21, is extracted from rare plants in South America, so vaccine production is limited. Compared with subunit vaccines, mRNA vaccines have the advantages of faster production and not requiring adjuvants, but currently, there is no authorized mRNA vaccine for herpes zoster. Therefore, this study focused on herpes zoster subunit and mRNA vaccines. We prepared a herpes zoster mRNA vaccine and compared the effects of vaccine type, immunization route, and adjuvant use on vaccine immunological efficacy. The mRNA vaccine was injected directly into mice via subcutaneous or intramuscular injection. The subunit vaccine was mixed with adjuvants before immunization. The adjuvants include B2Q or alum. B2Q is BW006S + 2395S + QS21. BW006S and 2395S are phosphodiester CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODNs). Then, we compared the cell-mediated immunity (CIM) and humoral immunity levels of the different groups of mice. The results showed that the immune responses of mice inoculated with the mRNA vaccine prepared in this study were not significantly different from those of mice inoculated with the protein subunit vaccine supplemented with the B2Q. The mRNA vaccine-induced immune responses following subcutaneous or intramuscular injection, and the different immunization routes did not lead to significant differences in immune response intensity. Similar results were also observed for the protein subunit vaccine adjuvanted with B2Q but not alum. The above results suggest that our experiment can provide a reference for the preparation of mRNA vaccines against herpes zoster and has certain reference significance for the selection of the immunization route; that is, there is no significant difference in the immune response caused by subcutaneous versus an intramuscular injection, so the injection route can be determined according to the actual situation of individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular Immune Responses to Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 1727 KiB  
Article
The Quantification of Spike Proteins in the Inactivated SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines of the Prototype, Delta, and Omicron Variants by LC–MS
by Kangwei Xu, Huang Sun, Kaiqin Wang, Yaru Quan, Zhizhong Qiao, Yaling Hu and Changgui Li
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051002 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1372
Abstract
Developing variant vaccines or multivalent vaccines is a feasible way to address the epidemic as the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) posed an increased risk to global public health. The spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was usually used as the main antigen [...] Read more.
Developing variant vaccines or multivalent vaccines is a feasible way to address the epidemic as the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) posed an increased risk to global public health. The spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was usually used as the main antigen in many types of vaccines to produce neutralizing antibodies against the virus. However, the spike (S) proteins of different variants were only differentiated by a few amino acids, making it difficult to obtain specific antibodies that can distinguish different VOCs, thereby challenging the accurate distinction and quantification of the variants using immunological methods such as ELISA. Here, we established a method based on LC–MS to quantify the S proteins in inactivated monovalent vaccines or trivalent vaccines (prototype, Delta, and Omicron strains). By analyzing the S protein sequences of the prototype, Delta, and Omicron strains, we identified peptides that were different and specific among the three strains and synthesized them as references. The synthetic peptides were isotopically labeled as internal targets. Quantitative analysis was performed by calculating the ratio between the reference and internal target. The verification results have shown that the method we established had good specificity, accuracy, and precision. This method can not only accurately quantify the inactivated monovalent vaccine but also could be applied to each strain in inactivated trivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Hence, the LC–MS method established in this study can be applied to the quality control of monovalent and multivalent SARS-CoV-2 variation vaccines. By enabling more accurate quantification, it will help to improve the protection of the vaccine to some extent. Full article
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15 pages, 808 KiB  
Article
Adaptation and Validation of a French Version of the Vaccination Attitudes Examination (VAX) Scale
by Margot Eisenblaetter, Clarisse Madiouni, Yasmine Laraki, Delphine Capdevielle and Stéphane Raffard
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051001 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1168
Abstract
Over the past decades, vaccination has proven to be largely beneficial to global health. Despite vaccine efficacy, the French population has been recently affected by more anti-vaccination attitudes and vaccine refusal, and it is therefore necessary to validate tools to study this health [...] Read more.
Over the past decades, vaccination has proven to be largely beneficial to global health. Despite vaccine efficacy, the French population has been recently affected by more anti-vaccination attitudes and vaccine refusal, and it is therefore necessary to validate tools to study this health issue. The Vaccination Attitudes Examination scale (VAX) is a 12-item questionnaire targeting adults that assesses general attitudes towards vaccination. The aims of the study were to translate and adapt the original English version of the scale into French and to test the psychometric properties of the scale in a French-population-based sample of adults. We included 450 French speaking adults that completed the French VAX and other questionnaires to assess convergent and divergent validities. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses showed that the French version of the VAX replicated the factorial structure of the original scale. Moreover, it demonstrated high internal consistency, good convergent and divergent validities, and excellent temporal stability. Furthermore, scores on the scale differentiated vaccinees from non-vaccinee respondents. Results on the scale provide us with insight into factors involved in vaccine hesitancy in France, therefore allowing French authorities and policy makers to address these specific concerns and improve vaccine acceptance rates in this country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insight in Vaccination and Public Health)
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14 pages, 2273 KiB  
Article
No Difference in the Prevalence of HIV-1 gag Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte-Associated Escape Mutations in Viral Sequences from Early and Late Parts of the HIV-1 Subtype C Pandemic in Botswana
by Baitshepi Mokaleng, Wonderful Tatenda Choga, Ontlametse Thato Bareng, Dorcas Maruapula, Doreen Ditshwanelo, Nametso Kelentse, Patrick Mokgethi, Natasha Onalenna Moraka, Modisa Sekhamo Motswaledi, Leabaneng Tawe, Catherine Kegakilwe Koofhethile, Sikhulile Moyo, Matshediso Zachariah and Simani Gaseitsiwe
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 1000; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11051000 - 19 May 2023
Viewed by 1343
Abstract
HIV is known to accumulate escape mutations in the gag gene in response to the immune response from cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). These mutations can occur within an individual as well as at a population level. The population of Botswana exhibits a high [...] Read more.
HIV is known to accumulate escape mutations in the gag gene in response to the immune response from cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). These mutations can occur within an individual as well as at a population level. The population of Botswana exhibits a high prevalence of HLA*B57 and HLA*B58, which are associated with effective immune control of HIV. In this retrospective cross-sectional investigation, HIV-1 gag gene sequences were analyzed from recently infected participants across two time periods which were 10 years apart: the early time point (ETP) and late time point (LTP). The prevalence of CTL escape mutations was relatively similar between the two time points—ETP (10.6%) and LTP (9.7%). The P17 protein had the most mutations (9.4%) out of the 36 mutations that were identified. Three mutations (A83T, K18R, Y79H) in P17 and T190A in P24 were unique to the ETP sequences at a prevalence of 2.4%, 4.9%, 7.3%, and 5%, respectively. Mutations unique to the LTP sequences were all in the P24 protein, including T190V (3%), E177D (6%), R264K (3%), G248D (1%), and M228L (11%). Mutation K331R was statistically higher in the ETP (10%) compared to the LTP (1%) sequences (p < 0.01), while H219Q was higher in the LTP (21%) compared to the ETP (5%) (p < 0.01). Phylogenetically, the gag sequences clustered dependently on the time points. We observed a slower adaptation of HIV-1C to CTL immune pressure at a population level in Botswana. These insights into the genetic diversity and sequence clustering of HIV-1C can aid in the design of future vaccine strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HIV Pathogenesis, Vaccine, and Eradication Strategies: Second Edition)
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15 pages, 2517 KiB  
Article
A First-in-Human Trial to Evaluate the Safety and Immunogenicity of a G Protein-Based Recombinant Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine in Healthy Adults 18–45 Years of Age
by Xin Cheng, Gan Zhao, Aihua Dong, Zhonghuai He, Jiarong Wang, Brian Jiang, Bo Wang, Miaomiao Wang, Xuefen Huai, Shijie Zhang, Shuangshuang Feng, Hong Qin and Bin Wang
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 999; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050999 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2106
Abstract
Background: With the enormous morbidity and mortality caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections among infants and the elderly, vaccines against RSV infections are in large market demand. Methods: We conducted a first-in-human (FIH), randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled dose escalation study to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Background: With the enormous morbidity and mortality caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections among infants and the elderly, vaccines against RSV infections are in large market demand. Methods: We conducted a first-in-human (FIH), randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled dose escalation study to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity response of the rRSV vaccine (BARS13) in healthy adults aged 18–45. A total of 60 eligible participants were randomly assigned to receive one of four dose levels or vaccination regimens of BARS13 or placebo at a 4:1 ratio. Results: The mean age was 27.40, and 23.3% (14/60) were men. No treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) led to study withdrawal within 30 days after each vaccination. No serious adverse event (SAE) was reported. Most of the treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) recorded were classified as mild. The high-dose repeat group had a serum-specific antibody GMC of 885.74 IU/mL (95% CI: 406.25–1931.17) 30 days after the first dose and 1482.12 IU/mL (706.56–3108.99) 30 days after the second dose, both higher than the GMC in the low-dose repeat group (885.74 IU/mL [406.25–1931.17] and 1187.10 IU/ mL [610.01–2310.13]). Conclusions: BARS13 had a generally good safety and tolerability profile, and no significant difference in terms of adverse reaction severity or frequency was observed between different dose groups. The immune response in repeat-dose recipients shows more potential in further study and has guiding significance for the dose selection of subsequent studies. Full article
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19 pages, 1619 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Safety and Prophylactic Efficacy of the EpiVacCorona Peptide Vaccine for COVID-19 Prevention (Phase III)
by Alexander B. Ryzhikov, Evgeny A. Ryzhikov, Marina P. Bogryantseva, Svetlana V. Usova, Elena A. Nechaeva, Elena D. Danilenko, Stepan A. Pyankov, Andrey S. Gudymo, Anastasiya A. Moiseeva, Galina S. Onkhonova, Oleg V. Pyankov, Ekaterina S. Sleptsova, Nikita V. Lomakin, Veronika S. Vasilyeva, Mikhail V. Tulikov, Vitaly G. Gusarov, Andrey A. Pulin, Maria A. Balalaeva, Svetlana B. Erofeeva, Stanislav A. Terpigorev, Olga A. Rychkova, Ivan M. Petrov, Viktoriia Y. Delian, Vladimir V. Rafalskiy, Sergey V. Tyranovets, Elena V. Gavrilova and Rinat A. Maksyutovadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050998 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2271
Abstract
The State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology “VECTOR” of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) has developed the peptide-based EpiVacCorona vaccine, which is the first synthetic peptide-based antiviral vaccine for mass immunization in international vaccinology. An [...] Read more.
The State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology “VECTOR” of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) has developed the peptide-based EpiVacCorona vaccine, which is the first synthetic peptide-based antiviral vaccine for mass immunization in international vaccinology. An early clinical trial (Phase I–II) demonstrated that the EpiVacCorona vaccine is a safe product. The “Multicenter double-blind, placebo-controlled, comparative, randomized trial to assess the tolerability, safety, immunogenicity and prophylactic efficacy of the EpiVacCorona COVID-19 vaccine based on peptide antigens in 3000 volunteers aged 18 years and older” was performed regarding vaccine safety. The key objectives of the study were to evaluate the safety and prophylactic efficacy of the two-dose EpiVacCorona vaccine administered via the intramuscular route. The results of the clinical study (Phase III) demonstrated the safety of the EpiVacCorona vaccine. Vaccine administration was accompanied by mild local reactions in ≤27% of cases and mild systemic reactions in ≤14% of cases. The prophylactic efficacy of the EpiVacCorona COVID-19 vaccine after the completion of the vaccination series was 82.5% (CI95 = 75.3–87.6%). The high safety and efficacy of the vaccine give grounds for recommending this vaccine for regular seasonal prevention of COVID-19 as a safe and effective medicinal product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination)
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14 pages, 266 KiB  
Article
Knowledge and Attitudes towards Human Papillomavirus Vaccination (HPV) among Healthcare Providers Involved in the Governmental Free HPV Vaccination Program in Shenzhen, Southern China
by Danhong Song, Peiyi Liu, Dadong Wu, Fanghui Zhao, Yueyun Wang and Yong Zhang
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050997 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1623
Abstract
No research has been conducted to explore the variables associated with healthcare providers’ (HCPs) knowledge and attitudes toward the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) since the vaccine was approved for free use in some Chinese cities. In Shenzhen, southern China, a convenience sample strategy [...] Read more.
No research has been conducted to explore the variables associated with healthcare providers’ (HCPs) knowledge and attitudes toward the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) since the vaccine was approved for free use in some Chinese cities. In Shenzhen, southern China, a convenience sample strategy was used to distribute questionnaires to HCPs involved in the government’s HPV vaccination program from Shenzhen. There were 828 questionnaires collected in total, with 770 used in the analysis. The mean HPV and HPV vaccine knowledge score was 12.0 among HCPs involved in the government HPV vaccination program (with a total score of 15). the average scores for HPV and HPV vaccine knowledge varied among different types of medical institutions. District hospitals had the highest mean score of 12.4, while private hospitals ranked fourth with a mean score of 10.9. Multivariate logistic regression results revealed significant disparities in the type of license and after-tax annual income across HCPs (p < 0.05). The future education and training for HCPs should focus on private community health centers (CHCs), HCPs whose license type is other than a doctor, and HCPs with low after-tax annual income. Full article
12 pages, 618 KiB  
Systematic Review
Association between Overweight/Obesity and the Safety and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccination: A Systematic Review
by Cangcang Fu, Nan Lin, Jihua Zhu and Qing Ye
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 996; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050996 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1821
Abstract
Objective: The objective of this study was to appraise the interrelation between overweight/obesity and the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination by synthesizing the currently available evidence. Methods: A systematic review of published studies on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine [...] Read more.
Objective: The objective of this study was to appraise the interrelation between overweight/obesity and the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination by synthesizing the currently available evidence. Methods: A systematic review of published studies on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine in people who were overweight or obese was conducted. Databases including Embase, Medline Epub (Ovid), PsychInfo (Ovid), Web of Science, PubMed, CINAHL, and Google Scholar were searched to identify relevant studies. The databases of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) were also searched for relevant unpublished and gray literature. Results: Fifteen studies were included in the review. All the included studies used observational study designs; there were ten cohort studies and five cross-sectional studies. The sample size of these studies ranged from 21 to 9,171,524. Thirteen studies reported using BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech, USA), four reported using ChAdOx-nCov19 (AstraZeneca, U.K), two were reported using CoronaVac (Sinovac, China), and two were reported using mRNA1273 (Moderna, USA). The efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines have been extensively studied in individuals with overweight/obesity. Most studies have shown that the humoral response decreases with increasing BMI. The available evidence does not conclusively indicate that these vaccines are generally safe in this population. Conclusion: While the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine may be less than ideal in people who are overweight or obese, it does not mean that obese people should not be vaccinated, as the vaccine can still provide some protection. There is a lack of evidence for conclusions to be drawn about the safety of the vaccine in the population. This study calls on health professionals, policymakers, caregivers, and all other stakeholders to focus on monitoring the possible adverse effects of injections in overweight/obese people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccine)
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12 pages, 1245 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of IL-35, as a Possible Biomarker for Follow-Up after Therapy, in Chronic Human Schistosoma Infection
by Nadia Marascio, Maria Teresa Loria, Grazia Pavia, Cinzia Peronace, Neill James Adams, Morena Campolo, Francesca Divenuto, Angelo Giuseppe Lamberti, Aida Giancotti, Giorgio Settimo Barreca, Maria Mazzitelli, Enrico Maria Trecarichi, Carlo Torti, Francesca Perandin, Zeno Bisoffi, Angela Quirino and Giovanni Matera
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 995; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050995 - 17 May 2023
Viewed by 5065
Abstract
The host response to helminth infections is characterized by systemic and tissue-related immune responses that play a crucial role in pathological diseases. Recently, experimental studies have highlighted the role of regulatory T (Tregs) and B (Bregs) cells with secreted cytokines as important markers [...] Read more.
The host response to helminth infections is characterized by systemic and tissue-related immune responses that play a crucial role in pathological diseases. Recently, experimental studies have highlighted the role of regulatory T (Tregs) and B (Bregs) cells with secreted cytokines as important markers in anti-schistosomiasis immunity. We investigated the serical levels of five cytokines (TNFα, IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10 and IL-35) in pre- and post-treatment samples from chronic Schistosoma infected patients to identify potential serological markers during follow-up therapy. Interestingly, we highlighted an increased serum level of IL-35 in the pre-therapy samples (median 439 pg/mL for Schistosoma haematobium and 100.5 pg/mL for Schistsoma mansoni infected patients) compared to a control group (median 62 pg/mL and 58 pg/mL, respectively, p ≤ 0.05), and a significantly lower concentration in post-therapy samples (181 pg/mL for S. haematobium and 49.5 pg/mL for S. mansoni infected patients, p ≤ 0.05). The present study suggests the possible role of IL-35 as a novel serological biomarker in the evaluation of Schistosoma therapy follow-up. Full article
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15 pages, 660 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Recommendation of Medical and Non-Medical Authorities on the Decision to Vaccinate against Influenza from a Social Vaccinology Perspective: Cross-Sectional, Representative Study of Polish Society
by Tomasz Sobierajski, Piotr Rzymski and Monika Wanke-Rytt
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 994; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050994 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1406
Abstract
Vaccination against seasonal flu is crucial to prevention of illness in modern societies. The level of influenza vaccination in Poland is low and, for many years, has hovered around a few percent of the general population. For this reason, it is crucial to [...] Read more.
Vaccination against seasonal flu is crucial to prevention of illness in modern societies. The level of influenza vaccination in Poland is low and, for many years, has hovered around a few percent of the general population. For this reason, it is crucial to understand the reasons for such a low level of vaccination and to assess the influence of medical and social authorities on the decision to vaccinate against influenza from the perspective of social vaccinology. For this purpose, a representative survey was conducted in 2022 among adult Poles (N = 805), orchestrated with the CAWI technique based on the author’s questionnaire. The most significant authority in the context of influenza vaccination is held by physicians, especially among the oldest part of the population, over 65 years of age—in this group, 50.4% of respondents declare a very high level of respect for physicians on the issue of recommended influenza vaccination (p < 0.001), and the second-highest authority group for which seniors have respect in the aspect of influenza vaccination is pharmacists (p = 0.011). It was also shown that pharmacists have more authority on the issue of influenza vaccination than nurses, especially in the group that declared themselves opponents of vaccination (p < 0.001). The survey indicates the need to strengthen the authority of physicians and pharmacists regarding influenza vaccination, and, in the case of pharmacists, the need for changing the law to allow them to qualify for influenza vaccination. Full article
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13 pages, 1938 KiB  
Article
HuNoV Non-Structural Protein P22 Induces Maturation of IL-1β and IL-18 and N-GSDMD-Dependent Pyroptosis through Activating NLRP3 Inflammasome
by Nini Chen, Peiyu Chen, Yanhe Zhou, Sidong Chen, Sitang Gong, Ming Fu and Lanlan Geng
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050993 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1382
Abstract
Norovirus infection is the leading cause of foodborne gastroenteritis worldwide, causing more than 200,000 deaths each year. As a result of a lack of reproducible and robust in vitro culture systems and suitable animal models for human norovirus (HuNoV) infection, the pathogenesis of [...] Read more.
Norovirus infection is the leading cause of foodborne gastroenteritis worldwide, causing more than 200,000 deaths each year. As a result of a lack of reproducible and robust in vitro culture systems and suitable animal models for human norovirus (HuNoV) infection, the pathogenesis of HuNoV is still poorly understood. In recent years, human intestinal enteroids (HIEs) have been successfully constructed and demonstrated to be able to support the replication of HuNoV. The NLRP3 inflammasome plays a key role in host innate immune responses by activating caspase1 to facilitate IL-1β and IL-18 secretion and N-GSDMD-driven apoptosis, while NLRP3 inflammasome overactivation plays an important role in the development of various inflammatory diseases. Here, we found that HuNoV activated enteric stem cell-derived human intestinal enteroids (HIEs) NLRP3 inflammasome, which was confirmed by transfection of Caco2 cells with full-length cDNA clones of HuNoV. Further, we found that HuNoV non-structural protein P22 activated the NLRP3 inflammasome and then matured IL-1β and IL-18 and processed the cleavage of gasdermin-D (GSDMD) to N-GSDMD, leading to pyroptosis. Besides, berberine (BBR) could ameliorate the pyroptosis caused by HuNoV and P22 by inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Together, these results reveal new insights into the mechanisms of inflammation and cell death caused by HuNoV and provide potential treatments. Full article
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18 pages, 365 KiB  
Review
Bioprocessing and the Production of Antiviral Biologics in the Prevention and Treatment of Viral Infectious Disease
by Elaine Meade, Neil Rowan and Mary Garvey
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050992 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2279
Abstract
Emerging, re-emerging and zoonotic viral pathogens represent a serious threat to human health, resulting in morbidity, mortality and potentially economic instability at a global scale. Certainly, the recent emergence of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus (and its variants) highlighted the impact of such pathogens, [...] Read more.
Emerging, re-emerging and zoonotic viral pathogens represent a serious threat to human health, resulting in morbidity, mortality and potentially economic instability at a global scale. Certainly, the recent emergence of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus (and its variants) highlighted the impact of such pathogens, with the pandemic creating unprecedented and continued demands for the accelerated production of antiviral therapeutics. With limited effective small molecule therapies available for metaphylaxis, vaccination programs have been the mainstay against virulent viral species. Traditional vaccines remain highly effective at providing high antibody titres, but are, however, slow to manufacture in times of emergency. The limitations of traditional vaccine modalities may be overcome by novel strategies, as outlined herein. To prevent future disease outbreaks, paradigm shift changes in manufacturing and distribution are necessary to advance the production of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, cytokines and other antiviral therapies. Accelerated paths for antivirals have been made possible due to advances in bioprocessing, leading to the production of novel antiviral agents. This review outlines the role of bioprocessing in the production of biologics and advances in mitigating viral infectious disease. In an era of emerging viral diseases and the proliferation of antimicrobial resistance, this review provides insight into a significant method of antiviral agent production which is key to protecting public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Vaccines and Antivirals)
22 pages, 1432 KiB  
Review
IgG4 Antibodies Induced by Repeated Vaccination May Generate Immune Tolerance to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein
by Vladimir N. Uversky, Elrashdy M. Redwan, William Makis and Alberto Rubio-Casillas
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 991; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050991 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 204895
Abstract
Less than a year after the global emergence of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a novel vaccine platform based on mRNA technology was introduced to the market. Globally, around 13.38 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses of diverse platforms have been administered. To date, 72.3% of the [...] Read more.
Less than a year after the global emergence of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a novel vaccine platform based on mRNA technology was introduced to the market. Globally, around 13.38 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses of diverse platforms have been administered. To date, 72.3% of the total population has been injected at least once with a COVID-19 vaccine. As the immunity provided by these vaccines rapidly wanes, their ability to prevent hospitalization and severe disease in individuals with comorbidities has recently been questioned, and increasing evidence has shown that, as with many other vaccines, they do not produce sterilizing immunity, allowing people to suffer frequent re-infections. Additionally, recent investigations have found abnormally high levels of IgG4 in people who were administered two or more injections of the mRNA vaccines. HIV, Malaria, and Pertussis vaccines have also been reported to induce higher-than-normal IgG4 synthesis. Overall, there are three critical factors determining the class switch to IgG4 antibodies: excessive antigen concentration, repeated vaccination, and the type of vaccine used. It has been suggested that an increase in IgG4 levels could have a protecting role by preventing immune over-activation, similar to that occurring during successful allergen-specific immunotherapy by inhibiting IgE-induced effects. However, emerging evidence suggests that the reported increase in IgG4 levels detected after repeated vaccination with the mRNA vaccines may not be a protective mechanism; rather, it constitutes an immune tolerance mechanism to the spike protein that could promote unopposed SARS-CoV2 infection and replication by suppressing natural antiviral responses. Increased IgG4 synthesis due to repeated mRNA vaccination with high antigen concentrations may also cause autoimmune diseases, and promote cancer growth and autoimmune myocarditis in susceptible individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination)
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13 pages, 1334 KiB  
Article
Predicted Public Health and Economic Impact of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccination with Variable Duration of Protection for Adults ≥60 Years in Belgium
by Maarten J. Postma, Chih-Yuan Cheng, Nasuh C. Buyukkaramikli, Luis Hernandez Pastor, Ine Vandersmissen, Thierry Van Effelterre, Peter Openshaw and Steven Simoens
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050990 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2966
Abstract
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of acute respiratory infection (ARI) in older adults. This study used a static, cohort-based decision-tree model to estimate the public health and economic impact of vaccination against RSV in Belgians aged ≥60 years compared with [...] Read more.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of acute respiratory infection (ARI) in older adults. This study used a static, cohort-based decision-tree model to estimate the public health and economic impact of vaccination against RSV in Belgians aged ≥60 years compared with no vaccination for different vaccine duration of protection profiles from a healthcare payer perspective. Three vaccine protection durations were compared (1, 3, and 5 years), and several sensitivity and scenario analyses were performed. Results showed that an RSV vaccine with a 3-year duration of protection would prevent 154,728 symptomatic RSV-ARI cases, 3688 hospitalizations, and 502 deaths over three years compared to no vaccination in older adults and would save EUR 35,982,857 in direct medical costs in Belgium. The number needed to vaccinate to prevent one RSV-ARI case was 11 for the 3-year duration profile, while it was 28 and 8 for the 1- and 5-year vaccine duration profiles, respectively. The model was generally robust in sensitivity analyses varying key input values. This study suggested that vaccination could substantially decrease the public health and economic burden of RSV in adults ≥60 years in Belgium, with benefits increasing with a longer duration of vaccine protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Vaccines and Public Health)
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11 pages, 821 KiB  
Article
BNT162b2 COVID-19 Vaccines in Children, Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer—A 1-Year Follow-Up
by Caroline Donze, Victoria Min, Laetitia Ninove, Xavier de Lamballerie, Gabriel Revon Rivière, Arnauld Verschuur, Paul Saultier and Nicolas André
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050989 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2095
Abstract
(1) Background: Children and young adults with cancer are poorly represented in COVID-19 vaccination studies, and long-term protection conferred by vaccination is not known. (2) Objectives: 1. To determine the adverse effects associated with BNT162B2 vaccination in children and young adults with cancer. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Children and young adults with cancer are poorly represented in COVID-19 vaccination studies, and long-term protection conferred by vaccination is not known. (2) Objectives: 1. To determine the adverse effects associated with BNT162B2 vaccination in children and young adults with cancer. 2. To assess its efficacy in stimulating immunological response and in preventing severe COVID-19 disease. (3) Methods: Retrospective single-center study evaluating patients aged 8 to 22 years, with cancer, who underwent vaccination from January 2021 to June 2022. ELISA serologies and serum neutralization were collected monthly from the first injection. Serologies below 26 were considered negative, while those above 264 BAU/mL were considered positive and indicative of protection. Antibodies titers were considered positive above 20. Data on adverse events and infections were collected. (4) Results: 38 patients were included (M/F = 1.7, median age 16 years), of whom 63% had a localized tumor and 76% were undergoing treatment at the time of the first vaccination. Two or three vaccine injections were administered in 90% of patients. Adverse events were mainly systemic and not severe, except for seven grade 3 toxicities. Four cancer-related deaths were reported. Median serology was negative the month following the first vaccination and became protective during the third month. At 3 and 12 months, median serology was 1778 and 6437 BAU/mL, respectively. Serum neutralization was positive in 97% of the patients. COVID-19 infection occurred despite vaccination in 18%; all were mild forms. (5) Conclusions: In children and young adults with cancer, vaccination was well tolerated and conferred effective serum neutralization. COVID-19 infections were mild, and vaccine seroconversion persisted after 12 months in most patients. The value of additional vaccination should be further established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibody Response of Vaccines to SARS-CoV-2)
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19 pages, 1690 KiB  
Article
A Methodological Framework for Assessing the Benefit of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination following Previous Infection: Case Study of Five- to Eleven-Year-Olds
by Christina Pagel, Harrison Wilde, Christopher Tomlinson, Bilal Mateen and Katherine Brown
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050988 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 6713
Abstract
Vaccination rates against SARS-CoV-2 in children aged five to eleven years remain low in many countries. The current benefit of vaccination in this age group has been questioned given that the large majority of children have now experienced at least one SARS-CoV-2 infection. [...] Read more.
Vaccination rates against SARS-CoV-2 in children aged five to eleven years remain low in many countries. The current benefit of vaccination in this age group has been questioned given that the large majority of children have now experienced at least one SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, protection from infection, vaccination or both wanes over time. National decisions on offering vaccines to this age group have tended to be made without considering time since infection. There is an urgent need to evaluate the additional benefits of vaccination in previously infected children and under what circumstances those benefits accrue. We present a novel methodological framework for estimating the potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination in previously infected children aged five to eleven, accounting for waning. We apply this framework to the UK context and for two adverse outcomes: hospitalisation related to SARS-CoV-2 infection and Long Covid. We show that the most important drivers of benefit are: the degree of protection provided by previous infection; the protection provided by vaccination; the time since previous infection; and future attack rates. Vaccination can be very beneficial for previously infected children if future attack rates are high and several months have elapsed since the previous major wave in this group. Benefits are generally larger for Long Covid than hospitalisation, because Long Covid is both more common than hospitalisation and previous infection offers less protection against it. Our framework provides a structure for policy makers to explore the additional benefit of vaccination across a range of adverse outcomes and different parameter assumptions. It can be easily updated as new evidence emerges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination)
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14 pages, 282 KiB  
Article
Future COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Refusal in Healthcare Workers after a Massive Breakthrough Infection Wave, a Nationwide Survey-Based Study
by Fuying Gu, Huiying Lin, Zhenqiang Chen, Gareth Ambler, Xinyan Chen, Xiaoling Chen, Pincang Xia, Nan Liu and Houwei Du
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050987 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1536
Abstract
Background: An unprecedented coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wave occurred in China between December 2022 and January 2023, challenging the efficacy of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines. The attitudes toward future COVID-19 booster vaccines (CBV) after the massive breakthrough infection among healthcare workers [...] Read more.
Background: An unprecedented coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wave occurred in China between December 2022 and January 2023, challenging the efficacy of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines. The attitudes toward future COVID-19 booster vaccines (CBV) after the massive breakthrough infection among healthcare workers remain unknown. This study aimed to explore the prevalence and determinants of future CBV refusal after the unprecedented COVID-19 wave among healthcare workers. Methods: Between 9 and 19 February 2023, a cross-sectional nationwide online survey was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire vaccine among healthcare workers in China. Sociodemographics, profession, presence of chronic medical conditions, previous COVID-19 infection, attitudes towards future CBV, and reasons for future CBV refusal were collected. We estimated odds ratio [OR] with 95% confidence interval [CI] using a multivariable logistic regression model to explore the factors associated with future CBV refusal. Results: Among the 1618 participants who completed the survey, 1511 respondents with two or more doses of COVID-19 vaccines were analyzed. A total of 648 (41.8%) of respondents were unwilling to receive a future CBV. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed the association of CBV refusal with profession (vs. other staff, physician-adjusted OR 1.17, 95%CI 0.79–1.72, nurse-adjusted OR 1.88, 95%CI 1.24−2.85, p = 0.008), history of allergy (adjusted OR 1.72, 95%CI 1.05–2.83, p = 0.032), a lower self-perceived risk of future COVID-19 infection (p < 0.001), and a lower belief in CBV effectiveness (p = 0.014), safety (p < 0.001), and necessities for healthcare workers and the public (p < 0.001, respectively). Conclusions: Our findings highlight that a considerable proportion of healthcare workers were against a future booster dose after an unprecedented COVID-19 wave. Self-perception of future COVID-19 risk, and potential harm or doubtful efficacy of vaccines are the main determinants. Our findings may help public health authorities to establish future COVID-19 vaccination programs. Full article
14 pages, 1109 KiB  
Article
Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccination Uptake: A Multi-Center Retrospective Study
by Chieh Lan, Yi-Chun Chen, Ye-In Chang and Po-Chun Chuang
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050986 - 15 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1609
Abstract
During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, global vaccination efforts declined due to the burden on health systems and community resistance to epidemic control measures. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccines have been recommended for vulnerable populations to prevent severe pneumonia. We investigated community response [...] Read more.
During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, global vaccination efforts declined due to the burden on health systems and community resistance to epidemic control measures. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccines have been recommended for vulnerable populations to prevent severe pneumonia. We investigated community response towards influenza and pneumococcal vaccines (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine) after the COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan. We retrospectively included adults who visited Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH) institutions for influenza or pneumococcal vaccination from January 2018 to December 2021. The first case of COVID-19 in Taiwan was detected in January 2020; therefore, in this study, hospitalized cases from January 2018 to December 2019 were defined as “before COVID-19 outbreak,” and hospitalized cases from January 2020 to December 2021 were defined as “after COVID-19 outbreak”. A total of 105,386 adults were enrolled in the study. An increase in influenza vaccination (n = 33,139 vs. n = 62,634) and pneumococcal vaccination (n = 3035 vs. n = 4260) were observed after the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, there was an increased willingness to receive both influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations among women, adults without underlying disease and younger adults. The COVID-19 pandemic may have increased awareness of the importance of vaccination in Taiwan. Full article
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13 pages, 1593 KiB  
Article
Real-World Effectiveness of Four Types of COVID-19 Vaccines
by Derar H. Abdel-Qader, Hasan Abdel-Qader, Jennifer Silverthorne, Chuenjid Kongkaew, Ahmad Z. Al Meslamani, Wail Hayajneh, Adel M. Alwahadneh, Salim Hamadi, Luay Abu-Qatouseh, Riad Awad, Mohannad Al Nsour, Abdallah Alhariri, Khaldoun Shnewer, Mohammad Da’ssan, Nathir M. Obeidat, Khaldoon E. Nusair, Mothafer S. Jalamdeh, Feras Hawari, Mohammad Asad and Salah AbuRuz
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050985 - 15 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2246
Abstract
Background: There is a scarcity of evidence regarding the real-world effectiveness of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. This was the first study to evaluate the effectiveness of four types of vaccines against asymptomatic and symptomatic infection, and COVID-19 outcomes among the general population. [...] Read more.
Background: There is a scarcity of evidence regarding the real-world effectiveness of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. This was the first study to evaluate the effectiveness of four types of vaccines against asymptomatic and symptomatic infection, and COVID-19 outcomes among the general population. Methods: This was a matched comparison group quasi-experimental study conducted in Jordan between 1 January and 29 August 2021. In the first part of the study, 1200 fully vaccinated individuals were matched with 1200 unvaccinated control participants. In order to measure vaccine effectiveness, the infection rates of both vaccinated and unvaccinated groups were calculated. The second part of the study included measuring specific anti-SARS CoV-2 immune cells and antibodies. Results: BNT162b2 (Pfizer, New York, NY, USA) showed a significantly higher effectiveness against asymptomatic COVID-19 infection (91.7%) and hospitalization (99.5%) than BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm, Beijing, China) (88.4% and 98.7%, respectively) and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca, Cambridge, UK) (84.3%, and 98.9%, respectively). The effectiveness rates of the Sputnik V (Gamaleya Research Institute, Moscow, Russia) vaccine against asymptomatic, symptomatic, and hospitalization were 100%, 100%, and 66.7%, respectively. The highest median anti-spike (S) IgG values were seen in individuals who received BNT162b2 (2.9 AU/mL) and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (2.8 AU/mL) vaccines. The levels of anti-S IgG were significantly decreased after 7 months of vaccination with BNT162b2 and BBIBP-CorV. There were significant decreases in the median number of neutralizing antibodies one month and seven months after receiving BNT162b2 (from 88.5 to 75.2 4 Bioequivalent Allergen Unit per milliliter/mL), BBIBP-CorV (from 69.5 to 51.5 BAU/mL), and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (from 69.2 to 58.BAU/mL) vaccines. The highest percentage of T cells specific to COVID-19 vaccine was found in individuals who received BNT162b2 (88.5%). Conclusion: All four vaccines evaluated in this study showed effectiveness against asymptomatic COVID-19 infection, symptomatic infection, hospitalization, and death. Furthermore, BNT162b2, BBIBP-CorV, and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 induced high levels of immunology markers within one month of vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adverse Events of COVID-19 Vaccines)
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13 pages, 2176 KiB  
Article
Estimating the Total Societal Cost of a Hexavalent Vaccine versus a Pentavalent Vaccine with Hepatitis B in South Korea
by Serim Min, Sun-Hong Kwon, Yeon-Woo Lee, Jung-Min Lee, Eun Jin Bae and Eui-Kyung Lee
Vaccines 2023, 11(5), 984; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11050984 - 15 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2362
Abstract
In South Korea, the ready-to-use hexavalent vaccine (against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliovirus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and hepatitis B) is not listed despite its facility of no need to reconstitute. It, therefore, has the potential to augment the efficiency of prevention against the [...] Read more.
In South Korea, the ready-to-use hexavalent vaccine (against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliovirus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and hepatitis B) is not listed despite its facility of no need to reconstitute. It, therefore, has the potential to augment the efficiency of prevention against the six infectious diseases, and it may reduce vaccine-related errors of reconstitution when compared with the currently used vaccination scheme of the pentavalent vaccine with the additional shots against hepatitis B. Given the assumed clinical equivalence between the two vaccination schemes, a cost-minimization analysis has been performed from a societal perspective including all the medical and non-medical direct and indirect costs when vaccinating one birth cohort. The results indicate that the ready-to-use hexavalent vaccine induces a cost reduction of KRW 47,155 (USD36.22) per infant or 12,026 million Korean Won ($9,236,417) in total for the whole birth cohort with 260,500 children. Using the ready-to-use hexavalent vaccine causes a lower infection rate, has fewer vaccination sessions, and may save much time as compared with the current vaccination scheme in place. The ready-to-use hexavalent vaccine may, therefore, benefit the National Immunization Program by reducing the total societal costs of vaccination while improving convenience of infants, parents, and medical care professionals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines and Health Economics)
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