Adenoviral-vectored next-generation respiratory mucosal vaccines against COVID-19
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The world is in need of next-generation COVID-19 vaccines. Although first-generation injectable COVID-19 vaccines continue to be critical tools in controlling the current global health crisis, continuous emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern has eroded the efficacy of these vaccines, leading to staggering breakthrough infections and posing threats to poor vaccine responders. This is partly because the humoral and T-cell responses generated following intramuscular injection of spike-centric monovalent vaccines are mostly confined to the periphery, failing to either access or be maintained at the portal of infection, the respiratory mucosa (RM). In contrast, respiratory mucosal-delivered vaccine can induce immunity encompassing humoral, cellular, and trained innate immunity positioned at the respiratory mucosa that may act quickly to prevent the establishment of an infection. Viral vectors, especially adenoviruses, represent the most promising platform for RM delivery that can be designed to express both structural and nonstructural antigens of SARS-CoV-2. Boosting RM immunity via the respiratory route using multivalent adenoviral-vectored vaccines would be a viable next-generation vaccine strategy.
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