Recombinant Mycobacterium paragordonae Expressing SARS-CoV-2 Receptor-Binding Domain as a Vaccine Candidate Against SARS-CoV-2 Infections

Byoung Jun Kim, Hyein Jeong, Hyejun Seo, Mi Hyun Lee, Hyun Mu Shin, Bum Joon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

At present, concerns that the recent global emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants could compromise the current vaccines have been raised, highlighting the urgent demand for new vaccines capable of eliciting T cell-mediated immune responses, as well as B cell-mediated neutralizing antibody production. In this study, we developed a novel recombinant Mycobacterium paragordonae expressing the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) (rMpg-RBD-7) that is capable of eliciting RBD-specific immune responses in vaccinated mice. The potential use of rMpg-RBD-7 as a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 infections was evaluated in in vivo using mouse models of two different modules, one for single-dose vaccination and the other for two-dose vaccination. In a single-dose vaccination model, we found that rMpg-RBD-7 versus a heat-killed strain could exert an enhanced cell-mediated immune (CMI) response, as well as a humoral immune response capable of neutralizing the RBD and ACE2 interaction. In a two-dose vaccination model, rMpg-RBD-7 in a two-dose vaccination could also exert a stronger CMI and humoral immune response to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 infections in pseudoviral or live virus infection systems, compared to single dose vaccinations of rMpg-RBD or two-dose RBD protein immunization. In conclusion, our data showed that rMpg-RBD-7 can lead to an enhanced CMI response and humoral immune responses in mice vaccinated with both single- or two-dose vaccination, highlighting its feasibility as a novel vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first in which mycobacteria is used as a delivery system for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number712274
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Mycobacterium paragordonae
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • receptor-binding domain (RBD)
  • vaccine

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