A Mycobacteriophage-Based Vaccine Platform: SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Expression and Display
Abstract: The explosion of SARS-CoV-2 infections in 2020 prompted a flurry of activity in vaccine development and exploration of various vaccine platforms, some well-established and some new. Phage-based vaccines were described previously, and we explored the possibility of using mycobacteriophages as a platform for displaying antigens of SARS-CoV-2 or other infectious agents. The potential advantages of using mycobacteriophages are that a large and diverse variety of them have been described and genomically characterized, engineering tools are available, and there is the capacity to display up to 700 antigen copies on a single particle approximately 100 nm in size. The phage body may itself be a good adjuvant, and the phages can be propagated easily, cheaply, and to high purity. Furthermore, the recent use of these phages therapeutically, including by intravenous administration, suggests an excellent safety profile, although efficacy can be restricted by neutralizing antibodies. We describe here the potent immunogenicity of mycobacteriophage Bxb1, and Bxb1 recombinants displaying SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein antigens.
Keywords: phage display vaccine / mycobacteriophage / SARS-CoV-2
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