Spray dried VSV-vectored vaccine is thermally stable and immunologically active in vivo
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Effective vaccine delivery and coverage to rural and resource-poor countries is hindered by the dependence on cold chain storage. As such, developments of cold chain-free technologies are highly sought. Although spray dried adenoviral vectors have shown long term stability at ambient temperatures and relatively low humidity, it remains to be determined whether similar excipient formulations are applicable to other viral vectors. To address this, we have spray dried vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-vectors with a panel of well-characterized sugar excipients to determine the optimal formulation for vector stabilization. Upon reconstitution, we show that trehalose conferred superior stability of VSV both in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, following cold chain-free storage at elevated temperatures at 37 °C for 15 days, we show that a VSV-vectored vaccine retains its in vivo immunogenicity, whereas a liquid control completely lost its immune-stimulating ability. Our results provide foundational evidence that spray drying with properly tested excipients can stabilize viral vectors such as VSV, allowing them to be stored long-term at elevated temperatures without dependency on cold chain conditions.
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