A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines.
Vaccinated mice produced broadly neutralizing antibodies against multiple strains of the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), while vaccinated macaques were protected from severe lung damage when later exposed to MERS-CoV.
The findings suggest that the current approach, in which vaccine design is guided by an understanding of structure of viral components and their interactions with host cells, holds promise for developing a similar human MERS vaccine regimen.
Currently, no licensed vaccines are available for MERS, a disease that first appeared in 2012. An outbreak in the Republic of Korea that began in May has caused more than 180 confirmed infections, including 36 deaths, through July 15 as well as widespread social disruption.
The research team was led by Barney S. Graham, M.D., Ph.D., Wing-Pui Kong, Ph.D., and colleagues at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Vaccine Research Center.
The investigators used structural information about a viral protein called the spike (S) glycoprotein, which MERS-CoV uses to enter cells, to design a number of experimental vaccines that they administered to mice in a two-step regimen involving an initial "priming" injection followed several weeks later by the same or a different "booster" vaccine.
The three prime-boost regimens that elicited the most robust immune responses in mice were then tested in groups of macaques and were found to elicit similar immune system responses. A separate group of 18 macaques (12 vaccinated, six unvaccinated) were exposed to MERS-CoV 19 weeks after the vaccinated animals received the boost injection.
Although macaques do not develop overt MERS disease, the researchers observed that unvaccinated animals experienced lung abnormalities indicative of pneumonia that were more profound and longer lasting than those seen in the vaccinated animals. The team is now working on refining the vaccine candidates and may eventually test a second-generation vaccine candidate in clinical trials.
ARTICLE: L Wang et al. Evaluation of candidate vaccine approaches for MERS-CoV. Nature Communications DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8712 (2105).
NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and Dr. Barney Graham, deputy director, Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, are available to comment.
CONTACT: To schedule interviews, please contact Anne A. Oplinger, (301) 402-1663, email@example.com.
NIAID conducts and supports research--at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide--to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.
NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health®
Anne A. Oplinger | EurekAlert!
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy