Virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate(s) to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection.
- Candidates may have the most effective anti-viral and anti-inflammatory response.
- Potentially protects elderly and immunocompromised patients from re-infection with the RSV virus.
- Efficient, tunable and stable production system for VLP vaccines for RSV.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of severe bronchiolitis in infants and young children, with nearly all children experiencing infection by two years of age. RSV infection provides incomplete protection, so the virus continues to infect throughout life with the elderly and persons with chronic cardiac or pulmonary disease, or immune compromising conditions at higher risk for severe complications. To date, there is no FDA-approved vaccine. Therefore, development of a vaccine is of high priority.
Studies show most neutralizing antibodies produced after RSV infection are against surface fusion protein F and attachment G glycoproteins. Simultaneous expression of these two proteins in a VLP that preserves their natural structures and antigenicity, and is highly immunogenic, should be an ideal vaccine. Emory researchers are the first to generate and purify stable VLPs containing only RSV proteins that have different combinations of G and F proteins on the surface. Combining the highly effective anti-viral activity of F-induced antibodies plus anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and immune-enhancing features of G-induced antibodies may be the key to finally achieving an effective RSV vaccine. In vivo experiments showed that immunized mice produced neutralizing antibodies against F and G viral proteins and the VLP vaccine candidate actively contributed to clear the virus and decrease inflammation in the infected organs.
RSV VLP candidates are being tested in vivo.