Research and Development on Therapeutic Agents and Vaccines for COVID-19

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X). This special issue belongs to the section "Therapeutic Vaccines and Antibody Therapeutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 6637

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani Hyderabad Campus, Dist.- Medchal, Telangana 500 078, India
Interests: emerging infectious diseases; design and synthesis of gene-targeting compounds; public health

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Guest Editor
CVR College of Engineering, Mangalpalle, Hyderabad, India
Interests: emerging infectious diseases; public health; pandemic response

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on humankind is persistent, despite the availability of a number of vaccines and some approved therapeutic agents. The continuous evolution of SARS-CoV-2 demands a broadly neutralizing therapy against current and emergent variants that may be helpful for both prevention and treatment. SARS-CoV-2 may not be the last human coronavirus to emerge from animals. To understand the virus replication and mutation mechanism, close monitoring of their populations in the early stages and the investigation of new druggable targets are promising strategies.

We invite contributions from the international community of researchers for this Special Issue on the ongoing progress in COVID-19 research. The goal of this Special Issue is to communicate the recent advances in the domain to the scientific community which may help to focus on the new strategies for containing the COVID-19 virus. In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the discovery of vaccines or drugs/drug targets and the ongoing research and development of vaccines and therapeutic strategies to fight against SARS-CoV-2.

Dr. Ahmed Kamal
Dr. Swapna Ponnampalli
Guest Editors

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.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • coronavirus
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • new variants of SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID-19 vaccines
  • vaccine efficacy
  • COVID-19 therapeutics
  • COVID-19 therapeutic targets

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 4969 KiB  
Article
Serial Llama Immunization with Various SARS-CoV-2 RBD Variants Induces Broad Spectrum Virus-Neutralizing Nanobodies
by Pavel P. Solodkov, Alexander M. Najakshin, Nikolai A. Chikaev, Sergey V. Kulemzin, Ludmila V. Mechetina, Konstantin O. Baranov, Sergey V. Guselnikov, Andrey A. Gorchakov, Tatyana N. Belovezhets, Anton N. Chikaev, Olga Y. Volkova, Alexander G. Markhaev, Yulia V. Kononova, Alexander Y. Alekseev, Marina A. Gulyaeva, Alexander M. Shestopalov and Alexander V. Taranin
Vaccines 2024, 12(2), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12020129 - 26 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1328
Abstract
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 mutant variants has posed a significant challenge to both the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 with anti-coronaviral neutralizing antibodies. The latest viral variants demonstrate pronounced resistance to the vast majority of human monoclonal antibodies raised against the ancestral Wuhan [...] Read more.
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 mutant variants has posed a significant challenge to both the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 with anti-coronaviral neutralizing antibodies. The latest viral variants demonstrate pronounced resistance to the vast majority of human monoclonal antibodies raised against the ancestral Wuhan variant. Less is known about the susceptibility of the evolved virus to camelid nanobodies developed at the start of the pandemic. In this study, we compared nanobody repertoires raised in the same llama after immunization with Wuhan’s RBD variant and after subsequent serial immunization with a variety of RBD variants, including that of SARS-CoV-1. We show that initial immunization induced highly potent nanobodies, which efficiently protected Syrian hamsters from infection with the ancestral Wuhan virus. These nanobodies, however, mostly lacked the activity against SARS-CoV-2 omicron-pseudotyped viruses. In contrast, serial immunization with different RBD variants resulted in the generation of nanobodies demonstrating a higher degree of somatic mutagenesis and a broad range of neutralization. Four nanobodies recognizing distinct epitopes were shown to potently neutralize a spectrum of omicron variants, including those of the XBB sublineage. Our data show that nanobodies broadly neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 variants may be readily induced by a serial variant RBD immunization. Full article
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13 pages, 2380 KiB  
Article
Different Safety Pattern of an Inactivated SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (CoronaVac®) According to Age Group in a Pediatric Population from 3 to 17 Years Old, in an Open-Label Study in Chile
by Nicole Le Corre, Katia Abarca, Patricio Astudillo, Marcela Potin, Sofía López, Macarena Goldsack, Vania Valenzuela, Andrea Schilling, Victoria Gaete, Lilian Rubio, Mario Calvo, Loreto Twele, Marcela González, Daniela Fuentes, Valentina Gutiérrez, Felipe Reyes, Lorena I. Tapia, Rodolfo Villena, Angello Retamal-Díaz, Antonio Cárdenas, Eduardo Alarcón-Bustamante, Xing Meng, Qianqian Xin, José V. González-Aramundiz, María Javiera Álvarez-Figueroa, Pablo A. González, Susan M. Bueno, Jorge A. Soto, on behalf of the PedCoronaVac03CL Study Group, Cecilia Perret and Alexis M. Kalergisadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Vaccines 2023, 11(10), 1526; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11101526 - 26 Sep 2023
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Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of vaccinating children against SARS-CoV-2 was rapidly established. This study describes the safety of CoronaVac® in children and adolescents between 3- and 17-years-old in a multicenter study in Chile with two vaccine doses in a 4-week [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of vaccinating children against SARS-CoV-2 was rapidly established. This study describes the safety of CoronaVac® in children and adolescents between 3- and 17-years-old in a multicenter study in Chile with two vaccine doses in a 4-week interval. For all participants, immediate adverse events (AEs), serious AEs (SAEs), and AEs of special interest (AESIs) were registered throughout the study. In the safety subgroup, AEs were recorded 28 days after each dose. COVID-19 surveillance was performed throughout the study. A total of 1139 individuals received the first and 1102 the second dose of CoronaVac®; 835 were in the safety subgroup. The first dose showed the highest number of AEs: up to 22.2% of participants reported any local and 17.1% systemic AE. AEs were more frequent in adolescents after the first dose, were transient, and mainly mild. Pain at the inoculation site was the most frequent AE for all ages. Fever was the most frequent systemic AE for 3–5 years old and headache in 6–17 years old. No SAEs or AESIs related to vaccination occurred. Most of the COVID-19 cases were mild and managed as outpatients. CoronaVac® was safe and well tolerated in children and adolescents, with different safety patterns according to age. Full article
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11 pages, 601 KiB  
Article
Salivary Antibody Responses to Two COVID-19 Vaccines following Different Vaccination Regimens
by Hassan Alkharaan, Hatem Al-Qarni, Muath A. Aldosari, Mohammed Alsaloum, Ghada Aldakheel, Mohammed W. Alenazi and Naif Khalaf Alharbi
Vaccines 2023, 11(4), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11040744 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1710
Abstract
Background: To date, little is known about the salivary mucosal immune response following different COVID-19 vaccine types or after a booster (3rd) dose of the BNT162b2 (BNT) vaccine. Methods: A total of 301 saliva samples were collected from vaccinated individuals and arranged into [...] Read more.
Background: To date, little is known about the salivary mucosal immune response following different COVID-19 vaccine types or after a booster (3rd) dose of the BNT162b2 (BNT) vaccine. Methods: A total of 301 saliva samples were collected from vaccinated individuals and arranged into two cohorts: cohort 1 (n = 145), samples from individuals who had received two doses against SARS-CoV-2; cohort 2 (n = 156), samples from individuals who had received a booster of BNT vaccine. Cohorts 1 and 2 were sub-stratified into three groups based on the types of first and second doses (homologous BNT/BNT, homologous ChAdOx1/ChAdOx1, or heterologous BNT/ChAdOx1vaccinations). Salivary immunoglobulin G (IgG) response to SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein was measured by ELISA, and clinical demographic data were collected from hospital records or questionnaires. Results: Salivary IgG antibody responses against different vaccines, whether homologous or heterogeneous vaccination regimens, showed similar levels in cohorts 1 and 2. Compiling all groups in cohort 1 and 2 showed significant, albeit weak, negative correlations between salivary IgG levels and time (r = −0.2, p = 0.03; r = −0.27, p = 0.003, respectively). In cohort 2, the durability of salivary IgG after a booster dose of BNT162b2 significantly dropped after 3 months compared to the <1 month and 1–3 months groups. Conclusions: Different COVID-19 vaccine types and regimens elicit similar salivary anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG with modest waning over time. Boosting with BNT162b2 vaccine did not produce an evident increase in mucosal IgG response whereby COVID-19 recovered subjects show higher salivary IgG than naive, post-vaccination subjects. The ChAdOx1/ChAdOx1 regimen showed better correlation between salivary IgG levels and durability. These findings highlight the importance of developing oral or intra-nasal vaccines to induce stronger mucosal immunity. Full article
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10 pages, 1874 KiB  
Brief Report
Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 Does Not Protect against the Development of Anosmia in a Hamster Model
by Rachel A. Reyna, Jordyn Walker, Brooke Mitchell, Divya P. Shinde, Jessica A. Plante, Scott C. Weaver and Kenneth S. Plante
Vaccines 2023, 11(10), 1564; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11101564 - 05 Oct 2023
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Abstract
Anosmia, a total or partial loss of the ability to smell, is one of the most frequently documented sequelae of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Persistent anosmia is associated with a decrease in quality of life. Here, we assess the impact [...] Read more.
Anosmia, a total or partial loss of the ability to smell, is one of the most frequently documented sequelae of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Persistent anosmia is associated with a decrease in quality of life. Here, we assess the impact of virus lineage and vaccination status on anosmia development in the golden Syrian hamster model. To characterize anosmia driven by current variants, we assessed olfactory function in hamsters infected with SARS-CoV-2 lineages A, BA.2, BA.5, BQ.1, and BQ.1.1 using a buried food detection test. We found that significant anosmia occurs upon infection with all variants with a significant correlation between disease severity and degree of anosmia. Moreover, we found that vaccination with either the Pfizer (BNT16b2) or Moderna (mRNA-1273) mRNA vaccines does not protect against anosmia, despite protection against severe disease. Full article
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