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Special Issue "Antivirals and Vaccines: Molecular Research in Treatment and Prevention"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2024 | Viewed by 1517

Special Issue Editor

Instituto de Investigação do Medicamento (iMed.ULisboa), Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: HIV; antivirals and vaccines; drug resistance; pathogenesis; antibody neutralization; virus evolution
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As the HIV, HCV and SARS-Cov-2 pandemics well illustrate, antivirals or vaccines have been crucial to control transmission, prevent disease progression and avert a very significant number of deaths caused by viral infections. However, vaccines are still not available for most virus infections and diseases including those caused by HIV and HCV. Likewise, a very limited number of drugs is currently available to treat deadly viral infections such as lower respiratory infections caused by RSV, influenza viruses and coronaviruses. Moreover, drug resistance is increasing in certain viruses such as HIV threatening the success obtained so far in controlling this pandemic. New and better antiviral drugs are in need to fight this global public health threat. This special issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences seeks to attract top level publications on the design, development and validation of new antivirals and vaccines to treat and prevent human viral diseases. We invite you to share with us your most insightful primary research work, reviews, and hypothesis on these important topics.

Prof. Dr. Nuno Taveira
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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  • antivirals
  • antiviral drugs
  • broad-spectrum antivirals
  • neutralizing antibodies
  • drug targets and mechanism of action
  • drug resistance
  • antiviral vaccines
  • vaccine immunogens
  • immunogen design
  • mRNA vaccines
  • self-amplifying mRNA vaccines
  • vaccine adjuvants
  • animal models

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 2773 KiB  
An HIV-1/HIV-2 Chimeric Envelope Glycoprotein Generates Binding and Neutralising Antibodies against HIV-1 and HIV-2 Isolates
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(10), 9077; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24109077 - 22 May 2023
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The development of immunogens that elicit broadly reactive neutralising antibodies (bNAbs) is the highest priority for an HIV vaccine. We have shown that a prime-boost vaccination strategy with vaccinia virus expressing the envelope glycoprotein gp120 of HIV-2 and a polypeptide comprising the envelope [...] Read more.
The development of immunogens that elicit broadly reactive neutralising antibodies (bNAbs) is the highest priority for an HIV vaccine. We have shown that a prime-boost vaccination strategy with vaccinia virus expressing the envelope glycoprotein gp120 of HIV-2 and a polypeptide comprising the envelope regions C2, V3 and C3 elicits bNAbs against HIV-2. We hypothesised that a chimeric envelope gp120 containing the C2, V3 and C3 regions of HIV-2 and the remaining parts of HIV-1 would elicit a neutralising response against HIV-1 and HIV-2. This chimeric envelope was synthesised and expressed in vaccinia virus. Balb/c mice primed with the recombinant vaccinia virus and boosted with an HIV-2 C2V3C3 polypeptide or monomeric gp120 from a CRF01_AG HIV-1 isolate produced antibodies that neutralised >60% (serum dilution 1:40) of a primary HIV-2 isolate. Four out of nine mice also produced antibodies that neutralised at least one HIV-1 isolate. Neutralising epitope specificity was assessed using a panel of HIV-1 TRO.11 pseudoviruses with key neutralising epitopes disrupted by alanine substitution (N160A in V2; N278A in the CD4 binding site region; N332A in the high mannose patch). The neutralisation of the mutant pseudoviruses was reduced or abolished in one mouse, suggesting that neutralising antibodies target the three major neutralising epitopes in the HIV-1 envelope gp120. These results provide proof of concept for chimeric HIV-1/HIV-2 envelope glycoproteins as vaccine immunogens that can direct the antibody response against neutralising epitopes in the HIV-1 and HIV-2 surface glycoproteins. Full article
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