Characterization of the Immune Response of MERS-CoV Vaccine Candidates Derived from Two Different Vectors in Mice.Viruses. 2020 01 20; 12(1)V
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is an acute, high-mortality-rate, severe infectious disease caused by an emerging MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that causes severe respiratory diseases. The continuous spread and great pandemic potential of MERS-CoV make it necessarily important to develop effective vaccines. We previously demonstrated that the application of Gram-positive enhancer matrix (GEM) particles as a bacterial vector displaying the MERS-CoV receptor-binding domain (RBD) is a very promising MERS vaccine candidate that is capable of producing potential neutralization antibodies. We have also used the rabies virus (RV) as a viral vector to design a recombinant vaccine by expressing the MERS-CoV S1 (spike) protein on the surface of the RV. In this study, we compared the immunological efficacy of the vaccine candidates in BALB/c mice in terms of the levels of humoral and cellular immune responses. The results show that the rabies virus vector-based vaccine can induce remarkably earlier antibody response and higher levels of cellular immunity than the GEM particles vector. However, the GEM particles vector-based vaccine candidate can induce remarkably higher antibody response, even at a very low dose of 1 µg. These results indicate that vaccines constructed using different vaccine vector platforms for the same pathogen have different rates and trends in humoral and cellular immune responses in the same animal model. This discovery not only provides more alternative vaccine development platforms for MERS-CoV vaccine development, but also provides a theoretical basis for our future selection of vaccine vector platforms for other specific pathogens.