A study published in the journal Nature described a safe and effective live-attenuated yellow fever 17D (YF17D) vector-based vaccine candidate expressing the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine candidate is named YF-S0. YF1D viral vector has been previously used for the development of vaccines for Japanese encephalitis and dengue. Using reverse genetics, a set of YF17D-based vaccine candidates expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in multiple forms including the native cleavable form (YF-S1/2), fusion form (YF-S1), and non-cleavable form (YF-S0).
Hamsters were vaccinated on day 0 and day 21. After 21 days of vaccination, YF-S0 had the highest potency to generate SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG neutralizing antibodies. Similar effects were observed in non-human primates. An experimental mouse model was used to determine the abilities of vaccine candidates in inducing T cell-mediated immune responses. WBC population from the spleen of the vaccinated mice were analyzed and it was observed that all the vaccine candidates were capable of inducing spike protein-specific T cell responses with a satisfactory T helper type 1 (Th1) polarization.
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