The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causes the COVID-19 pandemic. Only significant immunity in the population will lead to a sustained decline of infections without additional control measures. Efficient vaccines are urgently needed to reach the required levels of population immunity. Achieving such levels of immunity by unchecked, natural spread of COVID-19 would result in significant loss of life.
David Veesler, Neil P. King, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, and colleagues have developed a nanoparticle vaccine candidate against COVID-19. It is a self-assembling protein nanoparticle that displays 60 copies of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein’s receptor-binding domain (RBD) on its surface, mimicking the structure of the virus. The core of the nanoparticle is a two-component protein nanoparticle called I53-50, which can be assembled by simply mixing its protein components. The RBD was genetically fused to one of the components using linkers consisting of glycine and serine residues.
The nanoparticles are stable and can be obtained in high yields, which suggests that the manufacture of the vaccines can be scaled up. The vaccine candidate produces high levels of virus-neutralizing antibodies in mice. It also produces a strong B-cell response after immunization, which can be critical for immune memory and a long-term vaccine effect. Efforts to develop the vaccine further for clinical use are ongoing.
- Elicitation of potent neutralizing antibody responses by designed protein nanoparticle vaccines for SARS-CoV-2,
Alexandra C. Walls, Brooke Fiala, Alexandra Schäfer, Samuel Wrenn, Minh N. Pham, Michael Murphy, Longping V. Tse, Laila Shehata, Megan A. O’Connor, Chengbo Chen, Mary Jane Navarro, Marcos C. Miranda, Deleah Pettie, Rashmi Ravichandran, John C. Kraft, Cassandra Ogohara, Anne Palser, Sara Chalk, E-Chiang Lee, Kathryn Guerriero, Elizabeth Kepl, Cameron M. Chow, Claire Sydeman, Edgar A. Hodge, Brieann Brown, Jim T. Fuller, Kenneth H. Dinnon, Lisa E. Gralinski, Sarah R. Leist, Kendra L. Gully, Thomas B. Lewis, Miklos Guttman, Helen Y. Chu, Kelly K. Lee, Deborah H. Fuller, Ralph S. Baric, Paul Kellam, Lauren Carter, Marion Pepper, Timothy P. Sheahan, David Veesler, Neil P. King,
Also of Interest
- Collection: SARS-CoV-2 Virus
What we know about the new coronavirus and COVID-19