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Vaccines, Volume 12, Issue 7 (July 2024) – 108 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Aquaculture has rapidly evolved into one of the fastest-growing industries globally, meeting the increasing demand for high-quality proteins and supplying nearly half of the aquatic food intended for human consumption. However, infectious and parasitic diseases pose significant challenges in the field of aquaculture, impacting its economic and environmental sustainability. Existing vaccines, and recent advancements in aquaculture vaccinology, driven by nanotechnology, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence, offer sustainable solutions. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of aquaculture vaccinology and presents emerging vaccine technologies, delivery methods, novel adjuvants, and parasite vaccine developments. View this paper
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14 pages, 4223 KiB  
Article
The Central Conserved Peptides of Respiratory Syncytial Virus G Protein Enhance the Immune Response to the RSV F Protein in an Adenovirus Vector Vaccine Candidate
by Pengdi Chai, Yi Shi, Junjie Yu, Xiafei Liu, Dongwei Li, Jinsong Li, Lili Li, Dandi Li and Zhaojun Duan
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 807; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070807 (registering DOI) - 20 Jul 2024
Abstract
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a serious human respiratory pathogen that commonly affects children, older adults, and immunocompromised individuals. At present, the design of licensed vaccines focuses on the incorporation of the pre-fusion protein (PreF protein) of RSV, as this protein has the [...] Read more.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a serious human respiratory pathogen that commonly affects children, older adults, and immunocompromised individuals. At present, the design of licensed vaccines focuses on the incorporation of the pre-fusion protein (PreF protein) of RSV, as this protein has the ability to induce antibodies that offer a high level of protection. Moreover, the G protein contains the CX3C motif that binds the chemokine receptor CX3CR1 in respiratory epithelial cells, which plays an essential role in viral infection. Therefore, incorporating the G antigen into vaccine design may prove more advantageous for RSV prevention. In this study, we developed a human adenoviral vector-based RSV vaccine containing highly neutralizing immunogens, a modified full-length PreF protein fused with the central conserved peptides of the G protein (Gcc) from both RSV subgroups trimerized via a C-terminal foldon, and evaluated its immune response in mice through intranasal (i.n.) immunization. Our results showed that immunization with Ad5-PreF-Qa-Gcc elicited a balanced Th1/Th2 immune response and robust mucosal immunity with higher neutralizing antibody titers against RSV Long and RSV B1. Importantly, immunization with Ad5-PreF-Qa-Gcc enhanced CD4+ CD25+ FoxP3+ Treg cell response and protected the mice against RSV infection. Our data demonstrate that the combination of Gcc and the PreF antigen is a viable strategy for developing effective RSV vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in Vaccines against Respiratory Pathogens)
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16 pages, 1206 KiB  
Article
“That Was an Eye Opener for Me”: Mixed-Methods Outcomes Educating Texas Community Health Workers on HPV Vaccination Using Project ECHO®
by Shaylen Foley, Ashleigh Flowers, Tralisa Hall, Matthew T. Jansen and Michelle Burcin
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 806; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070806 (registering DOI) - 20 Jul 2024
Abstract
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is known to cause six different types of cancer. HPV vaccination can prevent over 90% of these cancers. Community health workers (CHWs) have the potential to drive HPV vaccination demand through education and navigation by addressing vaccine hesitancy and dis/misinformation [...] Read more.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is known to cause six different types of cancer. HPV vaccination can prevent over 90% of these cancers. Community health workers (CHWs) have the potential to drive HPV vaccination demand through education and navigation by addressing vaccine hesitancy and dis/misinformation and by reaching non-English speaking, vulnerable, or rural populations. Despite their possible reach, there is limited research on HPV vaccination education programs for CHWs. In 2020–2021, the American Cancer Society (ACS) HPV Cancer Free Texas (HPVCFT) Project implemented the eight-session Mission: HPVCFT Vaccination ECHO–CHW Program ten times. This manuscript details the program’s implementation processes and outcomes. The program used the Project ECHO model and was offered in both English and Spanish. One hundred and forty-six Texan CHWs completed pre- and post-training surveys. The participants demonstrated significant HPV vaccination knowledge increases and desirable shifts in their foundational HPV vaccination beliefs, including the belief that the HPV vaccine is for cancer prevention. The participants also reported increased confidence in communicating about the HPV vaccine in the community. Improving knowledge, beliefs, and confidence in HPV vaccination is the first step in addressing concerns and increasing uptake. Future research and interventions are needed to better understand how CHWs can be more systematically linked to vaccination opportunities or provided with clearer paths for directing patients to providers that vaccinate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Promoting HPV Vaccination in Diverse Populations)
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12 pages, 1773 KiB  
Article
The Development of a Multivalent Capripoxvirus-Vectored Vaccine Candidate to Protect against Sheeppox, Goatpox, Peste des Petits Ruminants, and Rift Valley Fever
by Hani Boshra, Graham A. D. Blyth, Thang Truong, Andrea Kroeker, Pravesh Kara, Arshad Mather, David Wallace and Shawn Babiuk
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070805 (registering DOI) - 20 Jul 2024
Abstract
Capripoxviruses are the causative agents of sheeppox, goatpox, and lumpy skin disease (LSD) in cattle, which cause economic losses to the livestock industry in Africa and Asia. Capripoxviruses are currently controlled using several live attenuated vaccines. It was previously demonstrated that a lumpy [...] Read more.
Capripoxviruses are the causative agents of sheeppox, goatpox, and lumpy skin disease (LSD) in cattle, which cause economic losses to the livestock industry in Africa and Asia. Capripoxviruses are currently controlled using several live attenuated vaccines. It was previously demonstrated that a lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) field isolate from Warmbaths (WB) South Africa, ORF 005 (IL-10) gene-deleted virus (LSDV WB005KO), was able to protect sheep and goats against sheeppox and goatpox. Subsequently, genes encoding the protective antigens for peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and Rift Valley fever (RVF) viruses have been inserted in the LSDV WB005KO construct in three different antigen forms (native, secreted, and fusion). These three multivalent vaccine candidates were evaluated for protection against PPR using a single immunization of 104 TCID50 in sheep. The vaccine candidates with the native and secreted antigens protected sheep against PPR clinical disease and decreased viral shedding, as detected using real-time RT-PCR in oral and nasal swabs. An anamnestic antibody response, measured using PPR virus-neutralizing antibody response production, was observed in sheep following infection. The vaccine candidates with the antigens expressed in their native form were evaluated for protection against RVF using a single immunization with doses of 104 or 105 TCID50 in sheep and goats. Following RVF virus infection, sheep and goats were protected against clinical disease and no viremia was detected in serum compared to control animals, where viremia was detected one day following infection. Sheep and goats developed RVFV-neutralizing antibodies prior to infection, and the antibody responses increased following infection. These results demonstrate that an LSD virus-vectored vaccine candidate can be used in sheep and goats to protect against multiple viral infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Virus Infection, Immunity and Vaccines)
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11 pages, 660 KiB  
Article
Hepatitis B Reactivation and Vaccination Effectiveness after Solid Organ Transplantation: A Matched Case-Control Study
by Yongseop Lee, Jaeeun Seong, Sangmin Ahn, Min Han, Jung Ah Lee, Jung Ho Kim, Jin Young Ahn, Nam Su Ku, Jun Yong Choi, Joon-Sup Yeom, Beom Kyung Kim and Su Jin Jeong
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 804; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070804 - 19 Jul 2024
Viewed by 117
Abstract
Solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients are at significant risk of hepatitis B (HB) virus (HBV) reactivation (HBVr). Despite the clinical significance of HBVr after solid organ transplantation, data on the risk factors for HBVr and vaccine effectiveness in SOT recipients with resolved HBV [...] Read more.
Solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients are at significant risk of hepatitis B (HB) virus (HBV) reactivation (HBVr). Despite the clinical significance of HBVr after solid organ transplantation, data on the risk factors for HBVr and vaccine effectiveness in SOT recipients with resolved HBV infection are limited. This study evaluated the risk factors for HBVr and the seroconversion rates after HBV vaccination in SOT recipients. Patients who had undergone solid organ transplantation and those with a resolved HBV infection were identified. We matched patients who experienced post-transplantation HBVr with those who did not. We also explored the characteristics and seroconversion rates of HBV-vaccinated patients following transplantation. In total, 1299 SOT recipients were identified as having a resolved HBV infection at the time of transplantation. Thirty-nine patients experienced HBVr. Pre-transplant HB surface antibodies (anti-HBs) positivity and allograft rejection within 3 months after transplantation were independently associated with HBVr. Among the 17 HBV-vaccinated patients, 14 (82.4%) received three or fewer vaccine doses, and 13 (76.5%) had seroconversion with positive anti-HBs results. Pre-transplant anti-HBs(−) status and allograft rejection were risk factors for HBVr in SOT recipients with a resolved HBV infection, and HBV vaccination after transplantation resulted in a high rate of anti-HBs seroconversion. HBV vaccination after transplantation should be considered to reduce the HBVr risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hepatitis Virus Vaccines)
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14 pages, 1410 KiB  
Article
Overview of the Implementation of the First Year of Immunization against Human Papillomavirus across Different Administrative Units in Serbia and Montenegro
by Mirjana Štrbac, Milko Joksimović, Vladimir Vuković, Mioljub Ristić, Goranka Lončarević, Milena Kanazir, Nataša Nikolić, Tatjana Pustahija, Smiljana Rajčević, Stefan Ljubičić, Marko Koprivica, Dragan Laušević and Vladimir Petrović
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070803 - 19 Jul 2024
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Abstract
Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccination, uptake of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination remains low worldwide. We aimed to analyze the coverage of HPV immunization during the first year of the immunization program and the sociodemographic characteristics across different administrative units [...] Read more.
Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccination, uptake of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination remains low worldwide. We aimed to analyze the coverage of HPV immunization during the first year of the immunization program and the sociodemographic characteristics across different administrative units in Serbia and Montenegro. Coverage of HPV vaccination in Serbia for females aged 9–14 and 15–19 years was 5.5% and 5.9%, respectively. The coverage rate of immunization against HPV in Montenegro for girls aged 9–14 years was 22.1%. Within Serbia, only one administrative region (Moravica) had HPV immunization coverage in girls 9–19 years old above 10%, 11 districts had coverage from 5 to 10%, while 13 districts had coverage below 5%. As per Montenegro, two administrative units, Cetinje and Berane, reported the highest coverage, with 39% and 36.4% of vaccinated eligible girls, respectively. When we explored the coverage of HPV immunization among girls aged 9–19 years across different regions in Serbia, we observed that the level of coverage did not correlate with the number of pediatricians or with the population density. In Montenegro, we observed a similar situation. On the other hand, we noticed a statistically significant moderate negative correlation (r = −0.446; p = 0.026) between HPV immunization coverage and the percentage of illiterate women in the administrative units. Comparing the coverage between the two countries we found that the higher coverage in Montenegro corresponded with a smaller number of female populations aged 9–14 years, with higher average net monthly income, with smaller population density and smaller number of pediatricians, among divorced persons, and among those without formal education or incompletely primary education. Taking into account the experiences in Montenegro, increasing immunization coverage in Serbia could be achieved through a more vigorous educational campaign targeting schools, the general population, and healthcare workers as well as by additionally incentivizing those engaged in these activities. Full article
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14 pages, 861 KiB  
Article
Reactogenicity Differences between Adjuvanted, Protein-Based and Messenger Ribonucleic Acid (mRNA)-Based COVID-19 Vaccines
by Matthew D. Rousculp, Kelly Hollis, Ryan Ziemiecki, Dawn Odom, Anthony M. Marchese, Mitra Montazeri, Shardul Odak, Laurin Jackson, Hadi Beyhaghi and Seth Toback
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070802 - 19 Jul 2024
Viewed by 172
Abstract
Participants in studies investigating COVID-19 vaccines commonly report reactogenicity events, and concerns about side effects may lead to a reluctance to receive updated COVID-19 vaccinations. A real-world, post hoc analysis, observational 2019nCoV-406 study was conducted to examine reactogenicity within the first 2 days [...] Read more.
Participants in studies investigating COVID-19 vaccines commonly report reactogenicity events, and concerns about side effects may lead to a reluctance to receive updated COVID-19 vaccinations. A real-world, post hoc analysis, observational 2019nCoV-406 study was conducted to examine reactogenicity within the first 2 days after vaccination with either a protein-based vaccine (NVX-CoV2373) or an mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273) in individuals who previously completed a primary series. Propensity score adjustments were conducted to address potential confounding. The analysis included 1130 participants who received a booster dose of NVX-CoV2373 (n = 303) or an mRNA vaccine (n = 827) during the study period. Within the first 2 days after vaccination, solicited systemic reactogenicity events (adjusted) were reported in 60.5% of participants who received NVX-CoV2373 compared with 84.3% of participants who received an mRNA vaccine; moreover, 33.9% and 61.4%, respectively, reported ≥3 systemic reactogenicity symptoms. The adjusted mean (95% CI) number of systemic symptoms was 1.8 (1.6–2.0) and 3.2 (3.0–3.4), respectively. Local reactogenicity events (adjusted) were reported in 73.4% and 91.7% of participants who received NVX-CoV2373 and mRNA vaccines, respectively; the adjusted mean (95% CI) number of local symptoms was 1.5 (1.33–1.61) and 2.4 (2.31–2.52), respectively. These results support the use of adjuvanted, protein-based NVX-CoV2373 as an immunization option with lower reactogenicity than mRNAs. Full article
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20 pages, 1904 KiB  
Article
Hybrid Immunity Protects against Antibody Fading after SARS-CoV-2mRNA Vaccination in Kidney Transplant Recipients, Dialysis Patients, and Medical Personnel: 9 Months Data from the Prospective, Observational Dia-Vacc Study
by Julian Stumpf, Torsten Siepmann, Jörg Schwöbel, Claudia Karger, Tom H. Lindner, Robert Faulhaber-Walter, Torsten Langer, Katja Escher, Kirsten Anding-Rost, Harald Seidel, Jan Hüther, Frank Pistrosch, Heike Martin, Jens Schewe, Thomas Stehr, Frank Meistring, Alexander Paliege, Daniel Schneider, Anne Steglich, Florian Gembardt, Friederike Kessel, Hannah Kröger, Patrick Arndt, Jan Sradnick, Kerstin Frank, Anna Klimova, René Mauer, Ingo Roeder, Torsten Tonn and Christian Hugoadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070801 - 19 Jul 2024
Viewed by 162
Abstract
(1) Background: Compared to medical personnel, SARS-CoV-2mRNA vaccination-related positive immunity rates, levels, and preservation over time in dialysis and kidney transplant patients are reduced. We hypothesized that COVID-19 pre-exposure influences both vaccination-dependent immunity development and preservation in a group-dependent manner. (2) Methods: We [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Compared to medical personnel, SARS-CoV-2mRNA vaccination-related positive immunity rates, levels, and preservation over time in dialysis and kidney transplant patients are reduced. We hypothesized that COVID-19 pre-exposure influences both vaccination-dependent immunity development and preservation in a group-dependent manner. (2) Methods: We evaluated 2- and 9-month follow-up data in our observational Dia-Vacc study, exploring specific cellular (interferon-γ release assay = IGRA) and/or humoral immune responses (IgA/IgG/RBD antibodies) after two SARS-CoV-2mRNA vaccinations in 2630 participants, including medical personnel (301-MP), dialysis patients (1841-DP), and kidney transplant recipients (488-KTR). Study participants were also separated into COVID-19 pre-exposure (hybrid immunity) positive (n = 407) versus negative (n = 2223) groups. (3) Results: COVID-19 pre-exposure improved most vaccination-related positive immunity rates in KTR and DP at 2 months but not in MP, where rates reached almost 100% independent of hybrid immunity. In the COVID-19-negative study, patients’ immunity faded between two and nine months, evaluated via the percentage of patients with an RBD antibody decrease >50%, and was markedly group- (MP-17.8%, DP-52.2%, and KTR-38.6%) and vaccine type-dependent. In contrast, in all patient groups with COVID-19, pre-exposure RBD antibody decreases of >50% were similarly rare (MP-4.3%, DP-7.2%, and KTR-0%) but still vaccine type-dependent, with numerically reduced numbers in mRNA-1273- versus BNT162b2mRNA-treated patients. Multivariable regression analysis of RBD antibody changes between two and nine months by interval scale categorization confirmed COVID-19 pre-exposure as a factor in inhibiting strong RBD Ab fading. COVID-19 pre-exposure in MP and DP also numerically reduced T-cell immunity fading. In DP, symptomatic (versus asymptomatic) COVID-19 pre-exposure was identified as a factor in reducing strong RBD Ab fading after vaccination. (4) Conclusions: After mRNA vaccination, immunity positivity rates in DP and KTR but not MP, as well as immunity preservation in MP/DP/KTR, are markedly improved via prior COVID-19 infection. In DP, prior symptomatic compared to asymptomatic COVID-19 disease was particularly effective in blocking immunity fading after mRNA vaccination. Full article
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17 pages, 3096 KiB  
Article
Large-Scale Field Trials of an Eimeria Vaccine Induce Positive Effects on the Production Index of Broilers
by Binh T. Nguyen, Dongjean Yim, Rochelle A. Flores, Seung Yun Lee, Woo H. Kim, Seung-Hwan Jung, Sangkyu Kim and Wongi Min
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070800 - 19 Jul 2024
Viewed by 192
Abstract
Live coccidiosis vaccines have mainly been used to reduce Eimeria species infection, which is considered the most economically important disease in the poultry industry. Evaluation data on vaccine effectiveness through large-scale field experiments are lacking, especially in broilers. Thus, the effectiveness of a [...] Read more.
Live coccidiosis vaccines have mainly been used to reduce Eimeria species infection, which is considered the most economically important disease in the poultry industry. Evaluation data on vaccine effectiveness through large-scale field experiments are lacking, especially in broilers. Thus, the effectiveness of a commercial coccidiosis vaccine was evaluated in approximately 900,000 chicks reared on three open-broiler farms where coccidiosis is prevalent. The vaccine’s effectiveness after vaccination of 1-day-old chicks was monitored using three parameters (lesion score, fecal oocyst shedding, and production index, PI) in nine trials performed three times on each farm. Lesion scores were confirmed in three different areas of the intestine because the vaccine contained four Eimeria species. The average lesion scores were 0.36 to 0.64 in the duodenal region, 0.30 to 0.39 in the jejuno-ileal region, and 0.18 to 0.39 in the cecal region. The average fecal oocyst shedding rate ranged from 19,766 to 100,100 oocysts per gram, showing large variations depending on farms and buildings within the farm. Compared with the PI of the previous 9–10 trials on each farm, the PI increased by 2.45 to 23.55. Because of the potential for perturbation of the fecal microbiota by live coccidiosis vaccines, the fecal microbiota was investigated using 16S rRNA microbial profiling. Although the β-diversity was significantly different in distribution and relative abundance among farms (PERMANOVA, pseudo-F = 4.863, p = 0.009), a Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analysis found no significant bacterial invasion of the epithelial cell pathway across farms. This large-scale field trial of a live Eimeria vaccine indicates that coccidiosis vaccines can have meaningful effects on the poultry industry and could be used as an alternative to the prophylactic use of anticoccidial drugs under field conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines for Chicken)
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15 pages, 1673 KiB  
Article
Impact of COVID-19 Vaccination on Mortality and Clinical Outcomes in Hemodialysis Patients
by Rihong Hu, Jiazhen Yin, Tingfei He, Yuxuan Zhu, Ye Li, Jinchi Gao, Xiaomin Ye, Lidan Hu and Yayu Li
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 799; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070799 - 19 Jul 2024
Viewed by 274
Abstract
This study analyzed 550 hemodialysis patients, 469 unvaccinated and 81 vaccinated against COVID-19, to assess the impact on infection rates, mortality, and clinical/laboratory parameters. Gender distribution was similar (p = 0.209), but the vaccinated group’s median age was significantly lower (p [...] Read more.
This study analyzed 550 hemodialysis patients, 469 unvaccinated and 81 vaccinated against COVID-19, to assess the impact on infection rates, mortality, and clinical/laboratory parameters. Gender distribution was similar (p = 0.209), but the vaccinated group’s median age was significantly lower (p = 0.005). Hospitalization rates showed no significant difference (p = 0.987), while mortality was lower in the vaccinated group (p = 0.041). Only uric acid levels were significantly higher in the vaccinated group (p = 0.009); other parameters, including creatinine and B-type natriuretic peptide, showed no significant differences. Age was an independent predictor of mortality (HR = 1.07, p < 0.001). Peak mortality occurred in December 2022 and January 2023, predominantly among unvaccinated patients. Although vaccination lowered mortality, it did not significantly affect long-term survival rates (p = 0.308). Logistic regression identified age and dialysis duration as significant mortality factors. Monthly death counts indicated higher mortality among unvaccinated patients during peak pandemic months, suggesting that vaccination provides some protection, though no significant long-term survival benefit was found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Immune Responses of Vaccines)
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10 pages, 212 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Physicians’ Attitudes and Practice Regarding Vaccination during Pregnancy in Turkey
by Ateş Kara, Hasan Tezer, Ergin Çiftçi and İhsan Ateş
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070798 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 207
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of family physicians (FPs), pediatricians (PPs), and obstetricians and gynecologists (OGs) regarding vaccine administration during pregnancy in Turkey as factors that contribute to decision-making. The survey was distributed among FPs, OGs, and PPs, [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of family physicians (FPs), pediatricians (PPs), and obstetricians and gynecologists (OGs) regarding vaccine administration during pregnancy in Turkey as factors that contribute to decision-making. The survey was distributed among FPs, OGs, and PPs, and participants were asked to rate their knowledge on specific topics using a five-point scale ranging from “Not Effective” to “Effective”. The tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccine was highly recommended by 94.9% of physicians and considered very effective. Among the physicians surveyed, 80% of PPs and 66.0% of OGs were aware of the disease burden of pertussis. We also found that 74.5% of FPs and 77.2% of PPs believed they needed more information about vaccination during pregnancy. All physicians surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that explaining the disease risks and benefits of vaccination increases the vaccine acceptance rate. The results of this survey study indicate that the knowledge and awareness of physicians need to be improved to increase vaccination rates during pregnancy in Turkey, and it is essential to incorporate influenza and tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (TdaP) vaccines into the standard maternal immunization schedule for newborns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vaccine Efficacy and Safety)
23 pages, 2710 KiB  
Article
Macropinocytosis Is the Principal Uptake Mechanism of Antigen-Presenting Cells for Allergen-Specific Virus-like Nanoparticles
by Armin Kraus, Bernhard Kratzer, Al Nasar Ahmed Sehgal, Doris Trapin, Matarr Khan, Nicole Boucheron and Winfried F. Pickl
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 797; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070797 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 175
Abstract
Virus-like nanoparticles (VNP) are regarded as efficient vaccination platforms and have proven to be useful for the non-anaphylactogenic delivery of allergen-specific immunotherapy in preclinical models previously. Herein, we sought to determine the mode of VNP uptake by antigen presenting cells (APC). Accordingly, we [...] Read more.
Virus-like nanoparticles (VNP) are regarded as efficient vaccination platforms and have proven to be useful for the non-anaphylactogenic delivery of allergen-specific immunotherapy in preclinical models previously. Herein, we sought to determine the mode of VNP uptake by antigen presenting cells (APC). Accordingly, we screened a collection of substances known to inhibit different uptake pathways by APC. The human leukemia monocytic cell line THP-1 and the murine dendritic cell line DC 2.4 were examined for the uptake of fluorescently labelled VNP in the presence or absence of inhibitors. The inhibitory effect of candidate substances that blocked VNP uptake in APC lines was subsequently evaluated in studies with primary APC present in splenocyte and lung cell homogenates in vitro and upon intratracheal application of VNP in vivo. The uptake of allergen-specific VNP in vitro and in vivo was mainly observed by macrophages and CD103+ dendritic cells and was sensitive to inhibitors that block macropinocytosis, such as hyperosmolarity induced by sucrose or the polyphenol compound Rottlerin at low micromolar concentrations but not by other inhibitors. Also, T-cell proliferation induced by allergen-specific VNP was significantly reduced by both substances. In contrast, substances that stimulate macropinocytosis, such as Heparin and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), increased VNP-uptake and may, thus, help modulate allergen-specific T-cell responses. We have identified macropinocytosis as the principal uptake mechanism of APC for allergen-specific VNP in vitro and in vivo, paving the way for further improvement of VNP-based therapies, especially those that can be used for tolerance induction in allergy, in the future. Full article
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11 pages, 303 KiB  
Article
Exploring Perceptions and Barriers: A Health Belief Model-Based Analysis of Seasonal Influenza Vaccination among High-Risk Healthcare Workers in China
by Yalan Peng, Yantong Wang, Wenzhi Huang, Ji Lin, Qinghui Zeng, Yi Chen and Fu Qiao
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070796 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 227
Abstract
The annual seasonal influenza vaccination rate among high-risk healthcare workers (HCWs) has fallen below expectations, underscoring the importance of exploring the impact of perception on vaccination behavior. An online survey, grounded in the Health Belief Model (HBM), was administered to high-risk healthcare workers [...] Read more.
The annual seasonal influenza vaccination rate among high-risk healthcare workers (HCWs) has fallen below expectations, underscoring the importance of exploring the impact of perception on vaccination behavior. An online survey, grounded in the Health Belief Model (HBM), was administered to high-risk healthcare workers at West China Hospital. The data analysis encompassed descriptive statistics, logistic regression for univariate analysis, and path regression for multivariate analysis. A total of 1845 healthcare workers completed the survey, with an acceptance rate of 83.90% (95% CI, 82.20–85.60%). Path analysis revealed significant correlations between vaccination acceptance and perceived susceptibility (β = 0.142), perceived benefits (β = 0.129), perceived barriers (β = 0.075), exposure to vaccination advertisements (β = 0.115), and knowledge about seasonal influenza (β = 0.051). Vaccination education efforts should prioritize elucidating the risks associated with the disease and emphasizing the benefits of vaccination. Furthermore, leveraging advertising proves to be an effective strategy for promotion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acceptance and Hesitancy in Vaccine Uptake)
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25 pages, 4372 KiB  
Review
SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines: The Advantage of Mucosal Vaccine Delivery and Local Immunity
by Joshua Tobias, Peter Steinberger, Joy Wilkinson, Gloria Klais, Michael Kundi and Ursula Wiedermann
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070795 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 389
Abstract
Immunity against respiratory pathogens is often short-term, and, consequently, there is an unmet need for the effective prevention of such infections. One such infectious disease is coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), which is caused by the novel Beta coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that emerged around the [...] Read more.
Immunity against respiratory pathogens is often short-term, and, consequently, there is an unmet need for the effective prevention of such infections. One such infectious disease is coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), which is caused by the novel Beta coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that emerged around the end of 2019. The World Health Organization declared the illness a pandemic on 11 March 2020, and since then it has killed or sickened millions of people globally. The development of COVID-19 systemic vaccines, which impressively led to a significant reduction in disease severity, hospitalization, and mortality, contained the pandemic’s expansion. However, these vaccines have not been able to stop the virus from spreading because of the restricted development of mucosal immunity. As a result, breakthrough infections have frequently occurred, and new strains of the virus have been emerging. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 will likely continue to circulate and, like the influenza virus, co-exist with humans. The upper respiratory tract and nasal cavity are the primary sites of SARS-CoV-2 infection and, thus, a mucosal/nasal vaccination to induce a mucosal response and stop the virus’ transmission is warranted. In this review, we present the status of the systemic vaccines, both the approved mucosal vaccines and those under evaluation in clinical trials. Furthermore, we present our approach of a B-cell peptide-based vaccination applied by a prime-boost schedule to elicit both systemic and mucosal immunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of B Cells and Antibodies against Infectious Diseases)
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15 pages, 4667 KiB  
Article
Intranasally Inoculated SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Combined with Mucoadhesive Polymer Induces Broad and Long-Lasting Immunity
by Tomoko Honda, Sakiko Toyama, Yusuke Matsumoto, Takahiro Sanada, Fumihiko Yasui, Aya Koseki, Risa Kono, Naoki Yamamoto, Takashi Kamishita, Natsumi Kodake, Takashi Miyazaki and Michinori Kohara
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070794 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 169
Abstract
Current mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 effectively induce systemic and cell-mediated immunity and prevent severe disease. However, they do not induce mucosal immunity that targets the primary route of respiratory infection, and their protective effects wane after a few months. Intranasal vaccines have some [...] Read more.
Current mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 effectively induce systemic and cell-mediated immunity and prevent severe disease. However, they do not induce mucosal immunity that targets the primary route of respiratory infection, and their protective effects wane after a few months. Intranasal vaccines have some advantages, including their non-invasiveness and the additional ability to activate mucosal immunity. In this study, we aimed to explore the effectiveness of an intranasally inoculated spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 mixed with a carboxy-vinyl polymer (S–CVP), a viscous agent. Intranasally inoculated S–CVP strongly induced antigen-specific IgG, including neutralizing antibodies, in the mucosal epithelium and serum and cellular immunity compared to the spike protein mixed with aluminum potassium sulfate. Furthermore, IgA production was detected only with S–CVP vaccination. S–CVP-inoculation in mice significantly suppressed the viral load and inflammation in the lung and protected mice against SARS-CoV-2 challenges, including an early circulating strain and the Omicron BA.1 variant in a manner dependent on CD8+ cells and monocytes/neutrophils. Surprisingly, high antibody responses and protective effects against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2, including Omicron BA.5, persisted for at least 15 months after the S–CVP immunization. Hence, we propose intranasal inoculation with S–CVP as a promising vaccine strategy against SARS-CoV-2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination)
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13 pages, 2847 KiB  
Article
Immunizing Mice with Influenza Virus-like Particles Expressing the Leishmania amazonensis Promastigote Surface Antigen Alleviates Inflammation in Footpad
by Gi-Deok Eom, Ki Back Chu, Keon-Woong Yoon, Jie Mao, Sung Soo Kim and Fu-Shi Quan
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070793 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 251
Abstract
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a tropical disease endemic in many parts of the world. Characteristic clinical manifestations of CL include the formation of ulcerative skin lesions that can inflict life-long disability if left untreated. Although drugs are available, they are unaffordable and out [...] Read more.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a tropical disease endemic in many parts of the world. Characteristic clinical manifestations of CL include the formation of ulcerative skin lesions that can inflict life-long disability if left untreated. Although drugs are available, they are unaffordable and out of reach for individuals who need them the most. Developing a highly cost-efficient CL vaccine could address this problem but such a vaccine remains unavailable. Here, we developed a chimeric influenza virus-like particle expressing the Leishmania amazonensis promastigote surface antigen (LaPSA-VLP). LaPSA-VLPs were self-assembled in Spodoptera frugiperda insect cell lines using the baculovirus expression system. After characterizing the vaccines and confirming successful VLP assembly, BALB/c mice were immunized with these vaccines for efficacy assessment. Sera acquired from mice upon subcutaneous immunization with the LaPSA-VLP specifically interacted with the L. amazonensis soluble total antigens. LaPSA-VLP-immunized mice elicited significantly greater quantities of parasite-specific IgG from the spleens, popliteal lymph nodes, and footpads than unimmunized mice. LaPSA-VLP immunization also enhanced the proliferation of B cell populations in the spleens of mice and significantly lessened the CL symptoms, notably the footpad swelling and IFN-γ-mediated inflammatory response. Overall, immunizing mice with the LaPSA-VLPs prevented mice from developing severe CL symptoms, signifying their developmental potential. Full article
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14 pages, 2537 KiB  
Article
Equal Maintenance of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Levels Induced by Heterologous and Homologous Regimens of the BNT162b2, ChAdOx1, CoronaVac and Ad26.COV2.S Vaccines: A Longitudinal Study Up to the 4th Dose of Booster
by Tatiana A. do Nascimento, Patricia Y. Nogami, Camille F. de Oliveira, Walter F. F. Neto, Carla P. da Silva, Ana Claudia S. Ribeiro, Alana W. de Sousa, Maria N. O. Freitas, Jannifer O. Chiang, Franko A. Silva, Liliane L. das Chagas, Valéria L. Carvalho, Raimunda S. S. Azevedo, Pedro F. C. Vasconcelos, Igor B. Costa, Iran B. Costa, Luana S. Barbagelata, Wanderley D. das Chagas Junior, Edvaldo T. da Penha Junior, Luana S. Soares, Giselle M. R. Viana, Alberto A. Amarilla, Naphak Modhiran, Daniel Watterson, Lívia M. N. Casseb, Lívia C. Martins and Daniele F. Henriquesadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070792 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 176
Abstract
Several technological approaches have been used to develop vaccines against COVID-19, including those based on inactivated viruses, viral vectors, and mRNA. This study aimed to monitor the maintenance of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in individuals from Brazil according to the primary vaccination regimen, as follows: [...] Read more.
Several technological approaches have been used to develop vaccines against COVID-19, including those based on inactivated viruses, viral vectors, and mRNA. This study aimed to monitor the maintenance of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in individuals from Brazil according to the primary vaccination regimen, as follows: BNT162b2 (group 1; 22) and ChAdOx1 (group 2; 18). Everyone received BNT162b2 in the first booster while in the second booster CoronaVac, Ad26.COV2.S, or BNT162b2. Blood samples were collected from 2021 to 2023 to analyze specific RBD (ELISA) and neutralizing antibodies (PRNT50). We observed a progressive increase in anti-RBD and neutralizing antibodies in each subsequent dose, remaining at high titers until the end of follow-up. Group 1 had higher anti-RBD antibody titers than group 2 after beginning the primary regimen, with significant differences after the 2nd and 3rd doses. Group 2 showed a more expressive increase after the first booster with BNT162B2 (heterologous booster). Group 2 also presented high levels of neutralizing antibodies against the Gamma and Delta variants until five months after the second booster. In conclusion, the circulating levels of anti-RBD and neutralizing antibodies against the two variants of SARS-CoV-2 were durable even five months after the 4th dose, suggesting that periodic booster vaccinations (homologous or heterologous) induced long-lasting immunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Vaccines, and Immune Responses)
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20 pages, 2672 KiB  
Article
Construction and Characterization of a High-Capacity Replication-Competent Murine Cytomegalovirus Vector for Gene Delivery
by André Riedl, Denisa Bojková, Jiang Tan, Ábris Jeney, Pia-Katharina Larsen, Csaba Jeney, Florian Full, Ulrich Kalinke and Zsolt Ruzsics
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070791 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 345
Abstract
We investigated the basic characteristics of a new murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) vector platform. Using BAC technology, we engineered replication-competent recombinant MCMVs with deletions of up to 26% of the wild-type genome. To this end, we targeted five gene blocks (m01-m17, m106-m109, m129-m141, m144-m158, [...] Read more.
We investigated the basic characteristics of a new murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) vector platform. Using BAC technology, we engineered replication-competent recombinant MCMVs with deletions of up to 26% of the wild-type genome. To this end, we targeted five gene blocks (m01-m17, m106-m109, m129-m141, m144-m158, and m159-m170). BACs featuring deletions from 18% to 26% of the wild-type genome exhibited delayed virus reconstitution, while smaller deletions (up to 16%) demonstrated reconstitution kinetics similar to those of the wild type. Utilizing an innovative methodology, we introduced large genomic DNA segments, up to 35 kbp, along with reporter genes into a newly designed vector with a potential cloning capacity of 46 kbp (Q4). Surprisingly, the insertion of diverse foreign DNAs alleviated the delayed plaque formation phenotype of Q4, and these large inserts remained stable through serial in vitro passages. With reporter-gene-expressing recombinant MCMVs, we successfully transduced not only mouse cell lines but also non-rodent mammalian cells, including those of human, monkey, bovine, and bat origin. Remarkably, even non-mammalian cell lines derived from chickens exhibited successful transduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Vector-Based Vaccines and Therapeutics)
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18 pages, 627 KiB  
Article
Clinical and Diagnostic Features of Post-Acute COVID-19 Vaccination Syndrome (PACVS)
by Anna Katharina Mundorf, Amelie Semmler, Harald Heidecke, Matthias Schott, Falk Steffen, Stefan Bittner, Karl J. Lackner, Karin Schulze-Bosse, Marc Pawlitzki, Sven Guenther Meuth, Frank Klawonn, Jana Ruhrländer and Fritz Boege
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070790 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 1825
Abstract
Post-acute COVID-19 vaccination syndrome (PACVS) is a chronic disease triggered by SARS-CoV-2 vaccination (estimated prevalence 0.02%). PACVS is discriminated from the normal post-vaccination state by altered receptor antibodies, most notably angiotensin II type 1 and alpha-2B adrenergic receptor antibodies. Here, we investigate the [...] Read more.
Post-acute COVID-19 vaccination syndrome (PACVS) is a chronic disease triggered by SARS-CoV-2 vaccination (estimated prevalence 0.02%). PACVS is discriminated from the normal post-vaccination state by altered receptor antibodies, most notably angiotensin II type 1 and alpha-2B adrenergic receptor antibodies. Here, we investigate the clinical phenotype using a study registry encompassing 191 PACVS-affected persons (159 females/32 males; median ages: 39/42 years). Unbiased clustering (modified Jaccard index) of reported symptoms revealed a prevalent cross-cohort symptomatology of malaise and chronic fatigue (>80% of cases). Overlapping clusters of (i) peripheral nerve dysfunction, dysesthesia, motor weakness, pain, and vasomotor dysfunction; (ii) cardiovascular impairment; and (iii) cognitive impairment, headache, and visual and acoustic dysfunctions were also frequently represented. Notable abnormalities of standard serum markers encompassing increased interleukins 6 and 8 (>80%), low free tri-iodine thyroxine (>80%), IgG subclass imbalances (>50%), impaired iron storage (>50%), and increased soluble neurofilament light chains (>30%) were not associated with specific symptoms. Based on these data, 131/191 participants fit myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and simultaneously also several other established dysautonomia syndromes. Furthermore, 31/191 participants fit none of these syndromes. In conclusion, PACVS could either be an outlier of ME/CFS or a dysautonomia syndrome sui generis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Immune Response and Vaccines: 2nd Edition)
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21 pages, 3807 KiB  
Article
Structural Assessment of Chlamydia trachomatis Major Outer Membrane Protein (MOMP)-Derived Vaccine Antigens and Immunological Profiling in Mice with Different Genetic Backgrounds
by Shea K. Roe, Tianmou Zhu, Anatoli Slepenkin, Aym Berges, Jeff Fairman, Luis M. de la Maza and Paola Massari
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070789 - 18 Jul 2024
Viewed by 335
Abstract
Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) is the most common cause of bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) worldwide. Ct infections are often asymptomatic in women, leading to severe reproductive tract sequelae. Development of a vaccine against Chlamydia is crucial. The Chlamydia major outer membrane [...] Read more.
Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) is the most common cause of bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) worldwide. Ct infections are often asymptomatic in women, leading to severe reproductive tract sequelae. Development of a vaccine against Chlamydia is crucial. The Chlamydia major outer membrane protein (MOMP) is a prime vaccine antigen candidate, and it can elicit both neutralizing antibodies and protective CD4+ T cell responses. We have previously designed chimeric antigens composed of immunogenic variable regions (VDs) and conserved regions (CDs) of MOMP from Chlamydia muridarum (Cm) expressed into a carrier protein (PorB), and we have shown that these were protective in a mouse model of Cm respiratory infection. Here, we generated corresponding constructs based on MOMP from Ct serovar F. Preliminary structure analysis of the three antigens, PorB/VD1-3, PorB/VD1-4 and PorB/VD1-2-4, showed that they retained structure features consistent with those of PorB. The antigens induced robust humoral and cellular responses in mice with different genetic backgrounds. The antibodies were cross-reactive against Ct, but only anti-PorB/VD1-4 and anti-PorB/VD1-2-4 IgG antibodies were neutralizing, likely due to the antigen specificity. The cellular responses included proliferation in vitro and production of IFN-γ by splenocytes following Ct re-stimulation. Our results support further investigation of the PorB/VD antigens as potential protective candidates for a Chlamydia subunit vaccine. Full article
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12 pages, 3426 KiB  
Article
Implementation of mRNA–Lipid Nanoparticle Technology in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)
by Lars Ole Sti Dahl, Sjoerd Hak, Stine Braaen, Alicja Molska, Francesca Rodà, Jeremie Parot, Øystein Wessel, Johanna Hol Fosse, Håvard Bjørgen, Sven Even Borgos and Espen Rimstad
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070788 - 18 Jul 2024
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Abstract
Background: This study was conducted to investigate whether mRNA vaccine technology could be adapted for the ectothermic vertebrate Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology has been developed and optimized for mRNA vaccines in mammals, stabilizing mRNA and facilitating its [...] Read more.
Background: This study was conducted to investigate whether mRNA vaccine technology could be adapted for the ectothermic vertebrate Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology has been developed and optimized for mRNA vaccines in mammals, stabilizing mRNA and facilitating its delivery into cells. However, its utility at the temperatures and specific biological environments present in ectotherms remains unclear. In addition, it is unknown if modified mRNA containing non-canonical nucleotides can correctly translate in salmonid cells. Methods: We used an mRNA transcript coding for enhanced green fluorescence protein, flanked by the untranslated regions of the hemagglutinin-esterase gene of the infectious salmon anemia virus, and a 120-base-long poly(A) tail. The mRNA was generated via in vitro transcription where uridine residues were replaced with N1-methyl-pseudouridines, and then encapsulated in LNPs. Results: When transfected into the salmonid cell line CHH-1, the mRNA-LNP construct induced expression of EGFP. Furthermore, when mRNA-LNPs were injected intramuscularly into salmon, in vivo protein expression was demonstrated via immunohistochemistry. EGFP was observed in cells infiltrating the spaces between muscle cells in a focal inflammatory response. Conclusion: The results indicate that N1-methyl-pseudouridine-modified mRNA encapsulated in LNPs can be used to express antigens of interest in salmonid fish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section DNA and mRNA Vaccines)
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18 pages, 1203 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Two Educational Interventions for Enhancing COVID-19 Knowledge and Attitudes in a Sample American Indian/Alaska Native Population
by Maya Asami Takagi, Simone T. Rhodes, Jun Hwan Kim, Maxwell King, Stephanie Soukar, Chad Martin, Angela Sasaki Cole, Arlene Chan, Ciara Brennan, Stephen Zyzanski, Barry Kissoondial and Neli Ragina
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070787 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 499
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing healthcare disparities among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations rooted in historical traumas and systemic marginalization. Methods: This study conducted at a single Indian Health Service (IHS) clinic in central Michigan evaluates two educational interventions for enhancing [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing healthcare disparities among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations rooted in historical traumas and systemic marginalization. Methods: This study conducted at a single Indian Health Service (IHS) clinic in central Michigan evaluates two educational interventions for enhancing COVID-19 knowledge and attitudes in a sample AI/AN population. Utilizing a pre/post-intervention prospective study design, participants received either a video or infographic educational intervention, followed by a survey assessing their COVID-19 knowledge and attitudes. Results: The results indicate significant improvements in knowledge and attitudes post-intervention, with both modalities proving effective. However, specific factors such as gender, political affiliation, and place of residence influenced COVID-19 attitudes and knowledge, emphasizing the importance of tailored interventions. Conclusions: Despite limitations, this study highlights the critical role of educational interventions in addressing vaccine hesitancy and promoting health equity within AI/AN communities. Moving forward, comprehensive strategies involving increased Indian Health Service funding, culturally relevant interventions, and policy advocacy are crucial in mitigating healthcare disparities and promoting health equity within AI/AN communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Disparities and Vaccine Equity)
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13 pages, 4093 KiB  
Article
Humoral and Cellular Response Induced by Primary Series and Booster Doses of mRNA Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease: A Longitudinal Study
by Yuya Ishihara, Hiroyuki Naruse, Hidetsugu Fujigaki, Reiko Murakami, Tatsuya Ando, Kouhei Sakurai, Komei Uehara, Koki Shimomae, Eirin Sakaguchi, Hidekazu Hattori, Masayoshi Sarai, Junnichi Ishii, Ryosuke Fujii, Hiroyasu Ito, Kuniaki Saito and Hideo Izawa
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 786; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070786 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 225
Abstract
Preexisting cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a pivotal risk factor for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We investigated the longitudinal (over 1 year and 9 months) humoral and cellular responses to primary series and booster doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in patients with CVD. [...] Read more.
Preexisting cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a pivotal risk factor for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We investigated the longitudinal (over 1 year and 9 months) humoral and cellular responses to primary series and booster doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in patients with CVD. Twenty-six patients with CVD who received monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were enrolled in this study. Peripheral blood samples were serially drawn nine times from each patient. IgG against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The numbers of interferon-γ-releasing cells in response to SARS-CoV-2 peptides were measured using an enzyme-linked immunospot assay. The RBD-IgG titers increased 2 weeks after the primary series and booster vaccination and waned 6 months after vaccination. The S1-specific T cell responses in patients aged < 75 years were favorable before and after booster doses; however, the Omicron BA.1-specific T cell responses were poor. These results suggest that regular vaccination is useful to maintain long-term antibody levels and has implications for booster dose strategies in patients with CVD. Additional booster doses, including Omicron variant-adapted mRNA vaccines, may be recommended for patients with CVD, regardless of age. Full article
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15 pages, 2185 KiB  
Article
Immunogenicity of the Monovalent Omicron XBB.1.5-Adapted BNT162b2 COVID-19 Vaccine in People Living with HIV (PLWH)
by Maxim Cherneha, Isabel Zydek, Peer Braß, Johannes Korth, Sarah Jansen, Stefan Esser, Christina B. Karsten, Folker Meyer, Ivana Kraiselburd, Ulf Dittmer, Monika Lindemann, Peter A. Horn, Oliver Witzke, Laura Thümmler and Adalbert Krawczyk
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 785; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070785 - 17 Jul 2024
Viewed by 349
Abstract
While SARS-CoV-2 has transitioned to an endemic phase, infections caused by newly emerged variants continue to result in severe, and sometimes fatal, outcomes or lead to long-term COVID-19 symptoms. Vulnerable populations, such as PLWH, face an elevated risk of severe illness. Emerging variants [...] Read more.
While SARS-CoV-2 has transitioned to an endemic phase, infections caused by newly emerged variants continue to result in severe, and sometimes fatal, outcomes or lead to long-term COVID-19 symptoms. Vulnerable populations, such as PLWH, face an elevated risk of severe illness. Emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2, including numerous Omicron subvariants, are increasingly associated with breakthrough infections. Adapting mRNA vaccines to these new variants may offer improved protection against Omicron for vulnerable individuals. In this study, we examined humoral and cellular immune responses before and after administering adapted booster vaccinations to PLWH, alongside a control group of healthy individuals. Four weeks following booster vaccination, both groups exhibited a significant increase in neutralizing antibodies and cellular immune responses. Notably, there was no significant difference in humoral immune response between PLWH and the healthy controls. Immune responses declined rapidly in both groups three months post vaccination. However, PLWH still showed significantly increased neutralizing antibody titers even after three months. These findings demonstrate the efficacy of the adapted vaccination regimen. The results suggest that regular booster immunizations may be necessary to sustain protective immunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neutralizing Antibodies after SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination)
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14 pages, 1050 KiB  
Article
Real World Use of Tixagevimab/Cilgavimab Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis of COVID-19 in Immunocompromised Individuals: Data from the OCTOPUS Study
by Alessandra Vergori, Giulia Matusali, Eleonora Cimini, Licia Bordi, Paola Borrelli, Simone Lanini, Roberta Palazzi, Jessica Paulicelli, Davide Mariotti, Valentina Mazzotta, Stefania Notari, Rita Casetti, Massimo Francalancia, Silvia Rosati, Alessandra D’Abramo, Cosmina Mija, Paola Mencarini, Eugenia Milozzi, Emanuela Caraffa, Simona Sica, Elisabetta Metafuni, Federica Sorà, Angela Rago, Agostina Siniscalchi, Elisabetta Abruzzese, Mariagrazia Garzia, Giovanni Luzi, Roberta Battistini, Luca Prosperini, Antonella Cingolani, Enrico Girardi, Fabrizio Maggi and Andrea Antinoriadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070784 - 17 Jul 2024
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Abstract
Objective. We aimed to report the real-world use and outcomes over time in immunocompromised individuals receiving tixagevimab/cilgavimab (T/C) pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Methods. This observational study included participants who received T/C PrEP, categorized into three groups: (i) No COVID-19 (NoC), i.e., participants [...] Read more.
Objective. We aimed to report the real-world use and outcomes over time in immunocompromised individuals receiving tixagevimab/cilgavimab (T/C) pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Methods. This observational study included participants who received T/C PrEP, categorized into three groups: (i) No COVID-19 (NoC), i.e., participants who never had COVID-19; (ii) Hybrids (H), i.e., participants who had COVID-19 before PrEP; and (iii) Break-through Infections (BTIs), i.e., participants who had COVID-19 after PrEP. The study measured several immune markers at the administration of T/C (T0) at 3 (T1), 6 (T2), and 9 (T3) months afterward. These markers included: anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD) IgG antibodies; BA.5-neutralizing antibodies (nAbs); mucosal IgG; and T cell immunity. The incidence rate ratios for BTIs were analyzed using a Poisson regression model. Results. A total of 231 participants with a median age of 63 years (IQR 54.0–73.0). were included. Among these, 84% had hematological diseases and received a median of three vaccine doses. N = 72 participants belonged to the NoC group, N = 103 to the H group, and n = 56 to the BTI group (24%), with most BTIs being mild/moderate. The incidence rate (IR) of BTIs was 4.2 per 100 patient-months (95% CI 3.2–5.4), with no associated risk factors identified. There was a significant increase in anti-RBD IgG levels 3 months after the T/C administration in all groups, followed by a decline at 6 months, whereas at the same time points, geometric mean titers (GMTs) of anti-BA.5 nAbs were low for all groups and were around or below the detection threshold. No significant changes were observed in IFN-γ levels. The mucosal immune response was observed only 3 months after the PrEP administration. Conclusion. We provided a real-world experience model on the clinical efficacy of T/C PrEP in preventing severe COVID-19 during the Omicron wave through a comprehensive virological and immunological study. While waiting for the arrival of new monoclonal antibodies that can effectively neutralize the most recent variants, T/C PrEP remains the only viable strategy in the available armamentarium today to prevent COVID-19 complications in an extremely fragile population with suboptimal immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines. Full article
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16 pages, 1509 KiB  
Article
Immunogenicity and Protective Efficacy of a Single Intranasal Dose Vectored Vaccine Based on Sendai Virus (Moscow Strain) against SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern
by Galina V. Kochneva, Gleb A. Kudrov, Sergei S. Zainutdinov, Irina S. Shulgina, Andrei V. Shipovalov, Anna V. Zaykovskaya, Mariya B. Borgoyakova, Ekaterina V. Starostina, Sergei A. Bodnev, Galina F. Sivolobova, Antonina A. Grazhdantseva, Daria I. Ivkina, Alexey M. Zadorozhny, Larisa I. Karpenko and Oleg V. P’yankov
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070783 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 314
Abstract
The mouse paramyxovirus Sendai, which is capable of limited replication in human bronchial epithelial cells without causing disease, is well suited for the development of vector-based intranasal vaccines against respiratory infections, including SARS-CoV-2. Using the Moscow strain of the Sendai virus, we developed [...] Read more.
The mouse paramyxovirus Sendai, which is capable of limited replication in human bronchial epithelial cells without causing disease, is well suited for the development of vector-based intranasal vaccines against respiratory infections, including SARS-CoV-2. Using the Moscow strain of the Sendai virus, we developed a vaccine construct, Sen-Sdelta(M), which expresses the full-length spike (S) protein of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant. A single intranasal delivery of Sen-Sdelta(M) to Syrian hamsters and BALB/c mice induced high titers of virus-neutralizing antibodies specific to the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant. A significant T-cell response, as determined by IFN-γ ELISpot and ICS methods, was also demonstrated in the mouse model. Mice and hamsters vaccinated with Sen-Sdelta(M) were well protected against SARS-CoV-2 challenge. The viral load in the lungs and nasal turbinates, measured by RT-qPCR and TCID50 assay, decreased dramatically in vaccinated groups. The most prominent effect was revealed in a highly sensitive hamster model, where no tissue samples contained detectable levels of infectious SARS-CoV-2. These results indicate that Sen-Sdelta(M) is a promising candidate as a single-dose intranasal vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, including variants of concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Vaccines, and Immune Responses)
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37 pages, 1689 KiB  
Review
Safety and Efficacy of Antiviral Drugs and Vaccines in Pregnant Women: Insights from Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling and Integration of Viral Infection Dynamics
by Bárbara Costa, Maria João Gouveia and Nuno Vale
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070782 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 555
Abstract
Addressing the complexities of managing viral infections during pregnancy is essential for informed medical decision-making. This comprehensive review delves into the management of key viral infections impacting pregnant women, namely Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus/Hepatitis C Virus (HBV/HCV), Influenza, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), [...] Read more.
Addressing the complexities of managing viral infections during pregnancy is essential for informed medical decision-making. This comprehensive review delves into the management of key viral infections impacting pregnant women, namely Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus/Hepatitis C Virus (HBV/HCV), Influenza, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). We evaluate the safety and efficacy profiles of antiviral treatments for each infection, while also exploring innovative avenues such as gene vaccines and their potential in mitigating viral threats during pregnancy. Additionally, the review examines strategies to overcome challenges, encompassing prophylactic and therapeutic vaccine research, regulatory considerations, and safety protocols. Utilizing advanced methodologies, including PBPK modeling, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and causal inference, we can amplify our comprehension and decision-making capabilities in this intricate domain. This narrative review aims to shed light on diverse approaches and ongoing advancements, this review aims to foster progress in antiviral therapy for pregnant women, improving maternal and fetal health outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal Vaccination and Vaccines)
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19 pages, 2290 KiB  
Systematic Review
Safety, Immunogenicity, and Effectiveness of Chinese-Made COVID-19 Vaccines in the Real World: An Interim Report of a Living Systematic Review
by Yangyang Qi, Hui Zheng, Jinxia Wang, Yani Chen, Xu Guo, Zheng Li, Wei Zhang, Jiajia Zhou, Songmei Wang, Boyi Lin, Lin Zhang, Tingting Yan, John Clemens, Jielai Xia, Zhijie An, Zundong Yin, Xuanyi Wang and Zijian Feng
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070781 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 408
Abstract
Background: Several COVID-19 vaccines were developed and approved in China. Of these, the BIBB-CorV and CoronaVac inactivated whole-virion vaccines were widely distributed in China and developing countries. However, the performance of the two vaccines in the real world has not been summarized. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Several COVID-19 vaccines were developed and approved in China. Of these, the BIBB-CorV and CoronaVac inactivated whole-virion vaccines were widely distributed in China and developing countries. However, the performance of the two vaccines in the real world has not been summarized. Methods: A living systematic review based on findings from ongoing post-licensure studies was conducted, applying standardized algorithms. Articles published between 1 May 2020 and 31 May 2022 in English and Chinese were searched for in Medline, Embase, WanFang Data, medRxiv, bioRxiv, arXiv, SSRN, and Research Square, using SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, and vaccine as the MeSH terms. Studies with estimates of safety, immunogenicity, and effectiveness from receiving the BIBB-CorV or CoronaVac vaccine that met the predefined screening criteria underwent a full-text review. The Joanna Briggs Institute’s Critical Appraisal Checklist and the Cochrane risk of bias were used for assessment of the quality. A random-effects meta-regression model was applied to identify the potential impact factors on the vaccines’ effectiveness. Results: In total, 32578 articles were identified, of these, 770 studies underwent a full-text review. Eventually, 213 studies were included. The pooled occurrence of solicited and unsolicited adverse events after any dose of either vaccine varied between 10% and 40%. The top five commonly reported rare adverse events were immunization stress-related responses (211 cases, 50.0%), cutaneous responses (43 cases, 10.2%), acute neurological syndrome (39 cases, 9.2%), anaphylaxis (17 cases, 4.0%), and acute stroke (16 cases, 3.8%). The majority (83.3%) recovered or were relieved within several days. The peak neutralization titers against the ancestral strain was found within 1 month after the completion of the primary series of either vaccine, with a GMT (geometric mean titer) of 43.7 (95% CI: 23.2–82.4), followed by a dramatic decrease within 3 months. At Month 12, the GMT was 4.1 (95% CI: 3.8–4.4). Homologous boosting could restore humoral immunity, while heterologous boosting elicited around sixfold higher neutralization titers in comparison with homologous boosting. The effectiveness of receiving either vaccine against death and severe disease was around 85% for both shortly after the primary series. At Month 12, the protection against death did not decline, while the protection against severe disease decreased to ~75%. Conclusions: Both the BIBP-CorV and CoronaVac inactivated vaccines are safe. Sustained vaccine effectiveness against death was determined 12 months after the primary series, although protection against severe disease decreased slightly over time. A booster dose could strengthen the waning effectiveness; however, the duration of the incremental effectiveness and the additional benefit provided by a heterologous booster need to be studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Vaccines, and Immune Responses)
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16 pages, 342 KiB  
Review
Burden of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in People Living with HIV
by Hady Samaha, Arda Yigitkanli, Amal Naji, Bahaa Kazzi, Ralph Tanios, Serena Maria Dib, Ighovwerha Ofotokun and Nadine Rouphael
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070780 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 373
Abstract
Vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) pose a serious public health concern for people living with HIV (PLH). PLH experience a delayed and weakened response to many vaccines available, compared to the general population. Lower seroconversion rates, along with a decreased efficacy and durability of vaccines, [...] Read more.
Vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) pose a serious public health concern for people living with HIV (PLH). PLH experience a delayed and weakened response to many vaccines available, compared to the general population. Lower seroconversion rates, along with a decreased efficacy and durability of vaccines, increases the susceptibility of PLH to VPDs. Vaccination guidelines specifically targeting this population have been modified to overcome these challenges. However, vaccine uptake remains suboptimal due to multiple barriers, highlighting the need for further studies and the additional implementation of public health measures specifically tailored to PLH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination Strategies for Global Public Health)
14 pages, 1512 KiB  
Review
Unveiling the Significance of LysE in Survival and Virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: A Review Reveals It as a Potential Drug Target, Diagnostic Marker, and a Vaccine Candidate
by Shilpa Upadhyay, Archana Dhok, Supriya Kashikar, Zahiruddin Syed Quazi and Vinod B. Agarkar
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 779; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070779 - 16 Jul 2024
Viewed by 302
Abstract
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a global health threat, necessitating innovative strategies for control and prevention. This comprehensive review explores the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Lysine Exporter (LysE) gene, unveiling its multifaceted roles and potential uses in controlling and preventing tuberculosis (TB). As a pivotal player in [...] Read more.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a global health threat, necessitating innovative strategies for control and prevention. This comprehensive review explores the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Lysine Exporter (LysE) gene, unveiling its multifaceted roles and potential uses in controlling and preventing tuberculosis (TB). As a pivotal player in eliminating excess L-lysine and L-arginine, LysE contributes to the survival and virulence of M. tuberculosis. This review synthesizes findings from different electronic databases and includes 13 studies focused on the LysE of M. tuberculosis. The research unveils that LysE can be a potential drug target, a diagnostic marker for TB, and a promising candidate for vaccine development. The absence of LysE in the widely used BCG vaccine underscores its uniqueness and positions it as a novel area for TB prevention. In conclusion, this review underscores the significance of LysE in TB pathogenesis and its potential as a drug target, diagnostic marker, and vaccine candidate. The multifaceted nature of LysE positions it at the forefront of innovative approaches to combat TB, calling for sustained research efforts to harness its full potential in the global fight against this infectious disease. Full article
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20 pages, 323 KiB  
Article
Mapping Adult Vaccine Confidence in Future Health Professionals: A Pilot Study among Undergraduate Students at Two Universities in Greece
by Enada Leshi, Ilias Pagkozidis, Maria Exidari, Georgia Gioula, Maria Chatzidimitriou, Ilias Tirodimos, Theodoros Dardavesis and Zoi Tsimtsiou
Vaccines 2024, 12(7), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12070778 - 15 Jul 2024
Viewed by 351
Abstract
Health professionals’ recommendations increase vaccine uptake. We aimed to document stances, practices regarding adult vaccination, and their predictors among undergraduate medical and biomedical science students, as well as their perspectives on increasing vaccine confidence. Among the 430 participants, third-year students from two universities [...] Read more.
Health professionals’ recommendations increase vaccine uptake. We aimed to document stances, practices regarding adult vaccination, and their predictors among undergraduate medical and biomedical science students, as well as their perspectives on increasing vaccine confidence. Among the 430 participants, third-year students from two universities in Greece, only 25.4% were in favor of all vaccines, while no refuters were detected. Predictors of recommending vaccination were the Attitudes Towards Adult Vaccination (ATAVAC) Value (OR 3.26, p < 0.001) and ATAVAC Safety subscales scores (OR 1.36, p < 0.05), being a medical student (OR 2.45, p < 0.05), and having better self-rated health status (OR 2.27, p < 0.05). The importance of getting vaccinated as health professionals was recognized by participants with a higher ATAVAC value (OR 5.39, p < 0.001), ATAVAC Safety scores (OR 1.46, p < 0.05), and increased knowledge regarding the National Immunization Program (OR 1.31, p < 0.05). The God Locus of Health Control (GLHC) was a predictor only in vaccination against COVID-19 (OR 0.91, p < 0.05). Improving community health literacy and health providers’ education, boosting trust in authorities, and adopting a person-centered approach emerged as the main themes regarding how to increase vaccine confidence. Mapping health professionals’ confidence in vaccines and providing lifelong training support is pivotal in supporting positive attitudes, enhancing their competence, and promoting vaccination in the post-COVID-19 era. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Vaccines and Public Health)
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