Special Issue "RNA Vaccines"

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2019) | Viewed by 27015

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jeroen Pollet
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Pediatric Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Interests: neglected tropical diseases; vaccines; adjuvants; parasitic diseases; helminths; protozoa; product development; hookworm; schistosomiasis; Chagas disease; Leishmaniasis
Mr. Leroy Versteeg
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Senior Research Assistant, Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, Baylor College of Medicine, 1102 Bates St., Ste. 550, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Interests: neglected tropical diseases; vaccine development; human pathogens; host-parasite interactions; immunology; flow cytometry; immunoassay development; innovation in research; soil transmitted helminths; Chagas disease; Chikungunya
Dr. Ulrich Strych
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Pediatric Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Interests: neglected tropical diseases; vaccines; diagnostics; drug development; Project development
Dr. Mohan-Vivekanandan Poongavanam
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Interests: neglected tropical diseases; vaccines; analytical development; quality control; vaccine development
Dr. Mashal Almutairi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine development, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2. Pharmacology Department, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Interests: neglected tropical diseases; vaccines; analytical development; quality control; vaccine development; antimicrobials; resistant bacteria; Chagas disease; Leishmaniasis, MERS

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In today’s world, billions of people are at risk for infection from ancient and newly-emerging tropical infectious diseases. Vaccines have been shown to have an enormous impact on overcoming the global burden of diseases; however, because of both technologic limitations and economic realities, scarcely any new vaccines for these diseases have made successful transition from development into licensure. Therefore, the world remains burdened by high morbidity diseases, as well as underprepared for the next biological threat or pandemic.

Novel technologies, lowering the cost of goods and accelerating the process of vaccine development could help address these urgent problems. In this Special Issue, entitled “RNA Vaccines against Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases”, we will present a compilation of articles that will focus on the recent scientific and technical progress made in the field of mRNA vaccines targeting neglected and emerging tropical infectious diseases. We invite authors to share their knowledge and experience to highlight how mRNA technology can help to i) improve vaccine potency and safety, ii) accelerate vaccine development, and iii) lower the cost of research, development and manufacturing.

Dr. Jeroen Pollet
Mr. Leroy Versteeg
Dr. Ulrich Strych
Dr. Mohan-Vivekanandan Poongavanam
Dr. Mashal Almutairi
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 2200 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

  • Tropical diseases
  • Infectious diseases
  • Emerging Diseases
  • mRNA vaccine
  • mRNA technology
  • Public health
  • vaccine development

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Immunological Analysis of a CCHFV mRNA Vaccine Candidate in Mouse Models
Vaccines 2019, 7(3), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines7030115 - 16 Sep 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3273
Abstract
Development of new vaccine platforms against viral diseases is considered urgent. In recent years, mRNA constructs have attracted great interest in this field due to unique advantages over conventional gene transfer platforms. In the present study, we developed a new naked conventional mRNA [...] Read more.
Development of new vaccine platforms against viral diseases is considered urgent. In recent years, mRNA constructs have attracted great interest in this field due to unique advantages over conventional gene transfer platforms. In the present study, we developed a new naked conventional mRNA vaccine expressing the non-optimized small (S) segment of the Ank-2 strain of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever virus (CCHFV). We then analyzed its single and booster dose immunogenicity and protection potential in the challenge assay in two mice models, including IFNα/β/γR−/− and C57BL/6. The results obtained from the immunological assays, namely IL-4 and IFN-gamma ELISPOT, intracellular IFN-gamma staining, in-house sandwich ELISA, and survival data, demonstrated that our construct elicited the production of anti-nucleocapsid (N) specific immune responses in both mice models. A 100% protection rate was only obtained in the booster dose group of IFNα/β/γR−/− mice, indicating that this platform needs further optimization in future studies. In conclusion, we assessed a novel approach in CCHFV vaccination by introducing a conventional mRNA platform which can be considered in future experiments as an efficient and safe way to battle this disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Vaccines)
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Review

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Review
Advances in RNA Vaccines for Preventive Indications: A Case Study of a Vaccine against Rabies
Vaccines 2019, 7(4), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines7040132 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 8858
Abstract
There is a global need for effective and affordable rabies vaccines, which is unmet by current vaccines due to limitations in their production capacities, required administration schedules, storage requirements, and cost. Many different experimental approaches previously used for bacterial and viral vaccines have [...] Read more.
There is a global need for effective and affordable rabies vaccines, which is unmet by current vaccines due to limitations in their production capacities, required administration schedules, storage requirements, and cost. Many different experimental approaches previously used for bacterial and viral vaccines have been applied to rabies, but with variable success. One of the most promising new concepts is the use of messenger RNA (mRNA) in encoding the main rabies virus antigen, the envelope glycoprotein (RABV-G). CureVac has applied their proprietary technology platform for the production of mRNA to this problem, resulting in the rabies vaccine candidate CV7201. Following preclinical studies in mice and pigs showing that CV7201 could induce neutralizing immune responses that protected against rabies virus, different dosages and routes of administration of CV7201 were tested in a phase 1 human study. This clinical study proved that mRNA vaccination was safe and had an acceptable reactogenicity profile, but immune responses depended on the mode of administration, and they did not unequivocally support CV7201 for further development as a prophylactic vaccine with this particular formulation. Further, preclinical studies using RABV-G mRNA encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) showed an improved response in both mice and nonhuman primates, and these encouraging results are currently being followed up in clinical studies in humans. This review summarizes the recent advances in mRNA vaccines against rabies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Vaccines)
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Review
Establishing Preferred Product Characterization for the Evaluation of RNA Vaccine Antigens
Vaccines 2019, 7(4), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines7040131 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4919
Abstract
The preferred product characteristics (for chemistry, control, and manufacture), in addition to safety and efficacy, are quintessential requirements for any successful therapeutic. Messenger RNA vaccines constitute a relatively new alternative to traditional vaccine development platforms, and thus there is less clarity regarding the [...] Read more.
The preferred product characteristics (for chemistry, control, and manufacture), in addition to safety and efficacy, are quintessential requirements for any successful therapeutic. Messenger RNA vaccines constitute a relatively new alternative to traditional vaccine development platforms, and thus there is less clarity regarding the criteria needed to ensure regulatory compliance and acceptance. Generally, to identify the ideal product characteristics, a series of assays needs to be developed, qualified and ultimately validated to determine the integrity, purity, stability, and reproducibility of a vaccine target. Here, using the available literature, we provide a summary of the array of biophysical and biochemical assays currently used in the field to characterize mRNA vaccine antigen candidates. Moreover, we review various in vitro functional cell-based assays that have been employed to facilitate the early assessment of the biological activity of these molecules, including the predictive immune response triggered in the host cell. Messenger RNA vaccines can be produced rapidly and at large scale, and thus will particularly benefit from well-defined and well-characterized assays ultimately to be used for in-process, release and stability-indications, which will allow equally rapid screening of immunogenicity, efficacy, and safety without the need to conduct often lengthy and costly in vivo experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Vaccines)
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Review
Enlisting the mRNA Vaccine Platform to Combat Parasitic Infections
Vaccines 2019, 7(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines7040122 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 9474
Abstract
Despite medical progress, more than a billion people still suffer daily from parasitic infections. Vaccination is recognized as one of the most sustainable options to control parasitic diseases. However, the development of protective and therapeutic vaccines against tropical parasites has proven to be [...] Read more.
Despite medical progress, more than a billion people still suffer daily from parasitic infections. Vaccination is recognized as one of the most sustainable options to control parasitic diseases. However, the development of protective and therapeutic vaccines against tropical parasites has proven to be exceptionally challenging for both scientific and economic reasons. For certain parasitic diseases, traditional vaccine platforms are not well-suited, due to the complexity of the parasite life cycles and the parasite’s ability to evade the human immune system. An effective anti-parasite vaccine platform needs to have the ability to develop and test novel candidate antigens fast and at high-throughput; it further needs to allow for multivalent combinations and must evoke a strong and well-defined immune response. Anti-parasitic vaccines need to be safe and economically attractive, especially in the world’s low- and middle-income countries. This review evaluates the potential of in vitro transcribed mRNA vaccines as a new class of preventive and therapeutic vaccine technologies for parasitic infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Vaccines)
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