Through the development of experimental vaccine platforms, many breakthroughs in Ebola virus disease (EVD) vaccine development have been achieved, including one recently developed Synthetic DNA Vaccine by researchers at The Wistar Institute Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ebola triggers a severe hemorrhagic fever that kills nearly 50% of the population. Although few promising candidates of vaccine have been developed, they may be associated with potential side effects or cannot be delivered to highly vulnerable population including children, pregnant women, and immune-compromised patients. Further, these vaccines need to be improved to ensure long-standing protection.
A novel synthetic DNA vaccine developed by the Wistar scientists has shown to provide positive and enduring protection from Zaire Ebola virus in preclinical research. The new DNA vaccine targets the surface glycoproteins of the virus; it is simple, non-viral platform with a potential safety profile in humans, said the researchers in their study featured online in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
In animal testing, the synthetic DNA vaccine were shown to be effective and demonstrated long-term immune responses in nonhuman primates (NHPs), the animals continued to exhibit strong immune system for 12 months after receiving the final dose. The critical findings ensured long-term immunogenicity of the vaccine which was considered difficult to achieve in previous Ebola vaccine research and trials.
For the recent study, the research team analyzed the protective and immunogenicity efficacy of the vaccine candidate by delivering intramuscular injection and electroporation to mice. The dose-sparing vaccination technique resulted in rapid and protective immunity to the Ebola virus, and the antibodies generation level was higher than the level reported by previously studied vaccines.
According to David B. Weiner, lead researcher and Executive VP of Wistar’s Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center, synthetic non-viral based DNA technology facilitates fast vaccine development through intradermal delivery, resulting into rapid, consistent, and potent immunity in comparison with traditional approaches. The novel anti-Ebola virus DNA virus may offer an effective tool for protection, he added. Furthermore, the research team is excited to see what future studies will unveil.
Amil Patel, an associate staff scientist at the Weiner lab also commented that the success of their research is very encouraging which fulfils their goal to create effective and safe vaccines.