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Immunization with an adjuvanted low-energy electron irradiation inactivated respiratory syncytial virus vaccine shows immunoprotective activity in mice

: Bayer, Lea; Fertey, Jasmin; Ulbert, Sebastian; Grunwald, Thomas


Vaccine 36 (2018), No.12, pp.1561-1569
ISSN: 0264-410X
ISSN: 1873-2518
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IZI ()
low-energy electron irradiation; inactivated vaccine; respiratory syncytial virus; adjuvant

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a pathogen causing severe lower respiratory tract disease in infants and the elderly. In spite of the great need for a vaccine against RSV, currently there is no licensed product on the market. A very early vaccine candidate developed in the 1960s based on formaldehyde inactivation (FI) turned out to instead enhance the disease. Our novel inactivation method applied low-energy electron irradiation (LEEI) to produce a killed RSV vaccine. LEEI yielded inactivated virus particles with a reproducible virus antigen conservation above 70%, while FI resulted in highly variable antigen conservation. Immunization of mice with LEEI-RSV elicited a strong immune response, resulting in a drastic reduction in viral load upon challenge in two independent studies. These results have implications for the development of an RSV vaccine and should be validated in further preclinical and clinical studies.