Chimeric Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) S Glycoprotein Andinfluenza Matrix 1 Efficiently Form Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) that Protect Mice Against Challenge with SARS-CoV
SARS-CoV was the cause of the global pandemic in 2003 that infected over 8000 people in 8 months. Vaccines against SARS are still not available. We developed a novel method to produce high levels of a recombinant SARS virus-like particles (VLPs) vaccine containing the SARS spike (S) protein and the influenza M1 protein using the baculovirus insect cell expression system. These chimeric SARS VLPs have a similar size and morphology to the wild type SARS-CoV. We tested the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of purified chimeric SARS VLPs and full length SARS S protein vaccines in a mouse lethal challenge model. The SARS VLP vaccine, containing 0.8 μg of SARS S protein, completely protected mice from death when administered intramuscular (IM) or intranasal (IN) routes in the absence of an adjuvant. Likewise, the SARS VLP vaccine, containing 4 μg of S protein without adjuvant, reduced lung virus titer to below detectable level, protected mice from weight loss, and elicited a high level of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV. Sf9 cell-produced full length purified SARS S protein was also an effective vaccine against SARS-CoV but only when co-administered IM with aluminum hydroxide. SARS-CoV VLPs are highly immunogenic and induce neutralizing antibodies and provide protection against lethal challenge. Sf9 cell-based VLP vaccines are a potential tool to provide protection against novel pandemic agents.
Liu, Y.V., Massare, M.J., Barnard, D.L., Kort, T., Nathan, M., Wang, L., Smith, G. 2011. Chimeric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) S glycoprotein and influenza matrix 1 efficiently form virus-like particles (VLPs) that protect mice against challenge with SARS-CoV. Vaccine. 29:6606-6613. PMID: 21762752