Polymersomes decorated with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain elicit robust humoral and cellular immunity.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Lisa R VolpattiJeffrey A Hubbell


A diverse portfolio of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates is needed to combat the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we developed a subunit nanovaccine by conjugating SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) to the surface of oxidation-sensitive polymersomes. We evaluated the humoral and cellular responses of mice immunized with these surface-decorated polymersomes (RBD surf ) compared to RBD-encapsulated polymersomes (RBD encap ) and unformulated RBD (RBD free ), using monophosphoryl lipid A-encapsulated polymersomes (MPLA PS) as an adjuvant. While all three groups produced high titers of RBD-specific IgG, only RBD surf elicited a neutralizing antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 comparable to that of human convalescent plasma. Moreover, RBD surf was the only group to significantly increase the proportion of RBD-specific germinal center B cells in the vaccination-site draining lymph nodes. Both RBD surf and RBD encap drove similarly robust CD4 + and CD8 + T cell responses that produced multiple Th1-type cytokines. We conclude that multivalent surface display of Spike RBD on polymersomes promotes a potent neutralizing antibody response to SARS-CoV-2, while both antigen formulations promote robust T cell immunity.


May 5, 2021·Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery·Miguel Pereira-SilvaAna Cláudia Paiva-Santos

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