Special Issue "Current Trends in RNA Virus Vaccines"

A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247). This special issue belongs to the section "Biopharmaceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Juan Carlos Saiz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biotechnology, Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), Madrid, Spain
Interests: flavivirus; Coronavirus; zoonosis; virus-host interactions; antivirals; vaccines
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As Guest Editor of the Pharmaceuticals Special Issue “Current trends in RNA virus vaccines” (https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/journal/pharmaceuticals/special_issues/current_trends_in_RNA_virus_vaccines), I would like to invite you to contribute with an original report, original observation, commentary, or review.

As you are perfectly aware, RNA viruses are one of the leading causes of infectious animal, human and zoonotic diseases worldwide, affecting millions of people, as clearly exemplified by the current devastating epidemic of the recently identified SARS-CoV-2 that has already infected more than 50 million people and caused more than 1.2 million deaths. Vaccine development has had an enormous impact on overcoming the global burden of diseases throughout the use of a vast number of classical and state of the art approaches, from purified inactivated and live attenuated viruses, to nucleic acid (DNA or RNA)-based candidates, virus-like particles, subunit elements, and recombinant viruses. However, licensed vaccines are only available for a few RNA viruses, and, thus, new and improved vaccines are necessary for many others. Therefore, to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of the current trends in vaccine development against RNA viruses, this Pharmaceuticals Special Issue is dedicated to recent developments and technological progress in vaccinology against RNA viruses, and the molecular mechanisms and immune responses involved. Based on your extensive experience and your recent publications, it will be our honor to publish your quality work on this field. We sincerely hope that you will be able to accept our invitation. If you are able to contribute, please let us know at your earliest convenience and we will provide you with additional details.

Prof. Dr. Juan Carlos Saiz
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • RNA viruses
  • vaccines
  • adjuvants
  • immune response
  • cell–host interactions

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Side Effects of mRNA-Based COVID-19 Vaccine: Nationwide Phase IV Study among Healthcare Workers in Slovakia
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(9), 873; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14090873 - 29 Aug 2021
Viewed by 619
Abstract
mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines such as BNT162b2 have recently been a target of anti-vaccination campaigns due to their novelty in the healthcare industry; nevertheless, these vaccines have exhibited excellent results in terms of efficacy and safety. As a consequence, they acquired the first approvals [...] Read more.
mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines such as BNT162b2 have recently been a target of anti-vaccination campaigns due to their novelty in the healthcare industry; nevertheless, these vaccines have exhibited excellent results in terms of efficacy and safety. As a consequence, they acquired the first approvals from drug regulators and were deployed at a large scale among priority groups, including healthcare workers. This phase IV study was designed as a nationwide cross-sectional survey to evaluate the post-vaccination side effects among healthcare workers in Slovakia. The study used a validated self-administered questionnaire that inquired about participants’ demographic information, medical anamneses, COVID-19-related anamnesis, and local, systemic, oral, and skin-related side effects following receiving the BNT162b2 vaccine. A total of 522 participants were included in this study, of whom 77% were females, 55.7% were aged between 31 and 54 years, and 41.6% were from Banska Bystrica. Most of the participants (91.6%) reported at least one side effect. Injection site pain (85.2%) was the most common local side effect, while fatigue (54.2%), headache (34.3%), muscle pain (28.4%), and chills (26.4%) were the most common systemic side effects. The reported side effects were of a mild nature (99.6%) that did not require medical attention and a short duration, as most of them (90.4%) were resolved within three days. Females and young adults were more likely to report post-vaccination side effects; such a finding is also consistent with what was previously reported by other phase IV studies worldwide. The role of chronic illnesses and medical treatments in post-vaccination side effect incidence and intensity requires further robust investigation among large population groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in RNA Virus Vaccines)
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Article
An Adenovirus Vector Expressing FMDV RNA Polymerase Combined with a Chimeric VLP Harboring a Neutralizing Epitope as a Prime Boost Strategy to Induce FMDV-Specific Humoral and Cellular Responses
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(7), 675; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14070675 - 15 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Foot and mouth disease is a highly contagious disease affecting cattle, sheep, and swine among other cloven-hoofed animals that imposes serious economic burden by its direct effects on farm productivity as well as on commerce of farmed produce. Vaccination using inactivated viral strains [...] Read more.
Foot and mouth disease is a highly contagious disease affecting cattle, sheep, and swine among other cloven-hoofed animals that imposes serious economic burden by its direct effects on farm productivity as well as on commerce of farmed produce. Vaccination using inactivated viral strains of the different serotypes is an effective protective measure, but has several drawbacks including a lack of cross protection and the perils associated with the large-scale growth of infectious virus. We have previously developed chimeric virus-like particles (VLPs) bearing an FMDV epitope which induced strong specific humoral responses in vaccinated pigs but conferred only partial protection against homologous challenge. While this and other FMD vaccines under development mostly rely on the induction of neutralizing responses, it is thought that induction of specific T-cell responses might improve both cross protective efficacy as well as duration of immunity. Therefore, we here describe the development of a recombinant adenovirus expressing the highly conserved nonstructural FMDV 3D protein as well as its capacity to induce specific T-cell responses in a murine model. We further describe the generation of an FMDV serotype C-specific chimeric VLP and analyze the immunogenicity of two different prime-boost strategies combining both elements in mice. This combination can effectively induce both humoral and cellular FMDV-specific responses eliciting high titers of ELISA and neutralizing antibodies anti-FMDV as well as a high frequency of IFNγ-secreting cells. These results provide the basis for further testing of this anti FMD vaccination strategy in cattle or pig, two of the most relevant natural host of this pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in RNA Virus Vaccines)
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Article
Micafungin Inhibits Dengue Virus Infection through the Disruption of Virus Binding, Entry, and Stability
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(4), 338; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14040338 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 843
Abstract
Dengue fever is an arbovirus disease caused by infection with the dengue virus (DENV). Half of the world’s population lives under the threat of dengue fever, however, researchers have yet to develop any drugs that are clinically applicable to this infection. Micafungin is [...] Read more.
Dengue fever is an arbovirus disease caused by infection with the dengue virus (DENV). Half of the world’s population lives under the threat of dengue fever, however, researchers have yet to develop any drugs that are clinically applicable to this infection. Micafungin is a member of the echinocandins family of anti-fungal drugs, capable of blocking the synthesis of β-1,3-D-glucan in the walls of fungal cells. Previous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Micafungin against infections of enterovirus 71 (EV71) and chikungunya virus (CHIKV). This is the first study demonstrating the effectiveness of micafungin in inhibiting the cytopathic effects of dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV-2) in a dose-dependent manner. Time-of-addition assays verified the inhibitory effects of micafungin in pre-treated, co-treated, and full-treatment groups. Binding and entry assays also demonstrated the effectiveness of micafungin in the early stage of DENV-2 infection. The virucidal efficacy of micafungin appears to lie in its ability to destroy the virion. Molecular docking assays revealed the binding of micafungin to the envelope protein of DENV-2, thereby revealing the mechanism by which micafungin affects the early stage of DENV infection and the stability of DENV. Two other micafungin analogs, caspofungin and anidulafungin, were also shown to have the antiviral effects on DENV-2. Finally, immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) confirmed the broad anti-DENV ability of micafungin against dengue virus serotypes 1, 3, and 4 (DENV-1, DENV-3, and DENV-4). Taken together, these results demonstrate the potential of micafungin and its analogs as candidates for the development of broad-spectrum treatments for DENV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in RNA Virus Vaccines)
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Review

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Review
The Present and Future of Yellow Fever Vaccines
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(9), 891; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14090891 - 01 Sep 2021
Viewed by 564
Abstract
The disease yellow fever (YF) is prevented by a live-attenuated vaccine, termed 17D, which has been in use since the 1930s. One dose of the vaccine is thought to give lifelong (35+ years) protective immunity, and neutralizing antibodies are the correlate of protection. [...] Read more.
The disease yellow fever (YF) is prevented by a live-attenuated vaccine, termed 17D, which has been in use since the 1930s. One dose of the vaccine is thought to give lifelong (35+ years) protective immunity, and neutralizing antibodies are the correlate of protection. Despite being a vaccine-preventable disease, YF remains a major public health burden, causing an estimated 109,000 severe infections and 51,000 deaths annually. There are issues of supply and demand for the vaccine, and outbreaks in 2016 and 2018 resulted in fractional dosing of the vaccine to meet demand. The World Health Organization (WHO) has established the “Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics” (EYE) initiative to reduce the burden of YF over the next 10 years. As with most vaccines, the WHO has recommendations to assure the quality, safety, and efficacy of the YF vaccine. These require the use of live 17D vaccine only produced in embryonated chicken eggs, and safety evaluated in non-human primates only. Thus, any second-generation vaccines would require modification of WHO recommendations if they were to be used in endemic countries. There are multiple second-generation YF vaccine candidates in various stages of development that must be shown to be non-inferior to the current 17D vaccine in terms of safety and immunogenicity to progress through clinical trials to potential licensing. The historic 17D vaccine continues to shape the global vaccine landscape in its use in the generation of multiple licensed recombinant chimeric live vaccines and vaccine candidates, in which its structural protein genes are replaced with those of other viruses, such as dengue and Japanese encephalitis. There is no doubt that the YF 17D live-attenuated vaccine will continue to play a role in the development of new vaccines for YF, as well as potentially for many other pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in RNA Virus Vaccines)
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Review
COVID-19 Vaccines: A Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Current Clinical Trials
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(5), 406; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14050406 - 25 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3641
Abstract
Various strategies have been designed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them, vaccine development is high on the agenda in spite of the unknown duration of the protection time. Various vaccines have been under clinical trials with promising results in different countries. The [...] Read more.
Various strategies have been designed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them, vaccine development is high on the agenda in spite of the unknown duration of the protection time. Various vaccines have been under clinical trials with promising results in different countries. The protective efficacy and the short-term and long-term side effects of the vaccines are of major concern. Therefore, comparing the protective efficacy and risks of vaccination is essential for the global control of COVID-19 through herd immunity. This study reviews the most recent data of 12 vaccines to evaluate their efficacy, safety profile and usage in various populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in RNA Virus Vaccines)
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