We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App

New Bacterial Delivery System to Administer COVID-19 Vaccine Directly to Respiratory Tract as Nasal Spray

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 05 Nov 2020
Print article
Image: Shi-Hua Xiang, associate professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences and a member of the Nebraska Center for Virology (Photo courtesy of University of Nebraska–Lincoln)
Image: Shi-Hua Xiang, associate professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences and a member of the Nebraska Center for Virology (Photo courtesy of University of Nebraska–Lincoln)
A new bacterial delivery system aims to administer a COVID-19 vaccine directly to the respiratory tract as a nasal spray, prompting an immune response directly at the site where the SARS-CoV-2 virus likely invades and multiplies.

Based on the approach of a team of virologists at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (Lincoln, NE, USA), bioengineered Lactobacillus - a safe, widely used bacteria best recognized for its role in fermenting yogurt and cheese - would deliver antigens, the vaccine component that triggers an immune response, directly to the mucosal tissues of the nose and mouth. This site-specific strategy may provide more robust protection against COVID-19 than an injected vaccine because it would more closely mimic a natural COVID-19 infection, producing antibodies and immune cells in the key locations where the virus enters.

With a spray vaccine, the team aim to capitalize on some of the uniquely powerful components of the body’s immune machinery that are located in mucosal tissues. The B cells there produce immunoglobulin A, or IgA, which is the body’s powerful first-line defense against pathogens in the gut and airway. Mucosal tissues are also rich in memory T cells, which are able to “remember” specific antigens after crossing paths with them the first time, enabling them to produce a faster, stronger immune response at the next encounter.

Lactobacillus as a vaccine vector offers several advantages. For one, as a food-based platform, it is unquestionably safe. People routinely consume Lactobacillus in yogurt and other probiotic supplements. It is also able to colonize the mucosal tracts, meaning it lives and multiplies in harmony with the airway’s other bacteria. The virologists hope that this means its protective effects will last longer, minimizing the number of times an individual needs the vaccination. Lactobacillus is also relatively inexpensive to produce and amenable to genetic modification, meaning that the virologists can genetically engineer the bacteria to produce SARS-CoV-2 antigens. This allows them to skip the costly and difficult process of antigen purification, which is required for traditional protein-based vaccines.

There are other economic benefits to a nasal spray vaccine. It will not require needles, cutting equipment costs. And it will not necessarily require trained health care workers as people may be able to administer the nose spray themselves. These characteristics make nasal spray vaccines a potentially viable solution for developing countries, which are struggling to secure doses of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Accordingly, the virologists are also in the early phases of exploring a Lactobacillus-based COVID-19 vaccine. With support from the Office of Research and Economic Development’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program, the virologists are using a pseudotyped COVID-19 virus to evaluate the effectiveness of the antibodies induced by the engineered bacteria. They are confident that their work will be valuable in the fight against COVID-19 and future viruses that jump from wildlife to humans.

“Mucosal vaccination should be effective because mucosal vaccines induce immunity at the point of viral entry, controlling early infection before it becomes an established systemic infection,” said Shi-Hua Xiang, associate professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences and a member of the Nebraska Center for Virology. “The long-term goal is to make an effective mucosal vaccine for respiratory-transmitted viral infections diseases.”

Related Links:
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Platinum Supplier
STI Test
Vivalytic Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Array
Gold Supplier
Disposable Protective Suit For Medical Use
Disposable Protective Suit For Medical Use
Interventional Robot
Bone Transport System
Precice Bone Transport System

Print article


Critical Care

view channel
Image: Flexible thin-film electrodes placed directly on brain tissue have shown promise for diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy (Photo courtesy of Tokyo Tech)

Thin-Film Neural Electrodes Placed Directly on Brain Tissue Can Diagnose and Treat Epilepsy

Analyzing brain activity is crucial for diagnosing conditions like epilepsy and other mental health disorders. Among various methods, electroencephalography (EEG) is considered the least intrusive, using... Read more

Surgical Techniques

view channel
Image: The ARC-IM Stimulator with brain-computer interface restores arm, hand, and finger function after spinal cord injury (Photo courtesy of ONWARD Medical)

First-in-Human Implant of Thought-Driven Movement Device to Treat Spinal Cord Injury

In order to walk, signals from the brain are sent to neurons in the lumbosacral part of the spinal cord. When a spinal cord injury occurs, it cuts off this essential communication between the brain and... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The newly-launched solution can transform operating room scheduling and boost utilization rates (Photo courtesy of Fujitsu)

Surgical Capacity Optimization Solution Helps Hospitals Boost OR Utilization

An innovative solution has the capability to transform surgical capacity utilization by targeting the root cause of surgical block time inefficiencies. Fujitsu Limited’s (Tokyo, Japan) Surgical Capacity... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: First ever institution-specific model provides significant performance advantage over current population-derived models (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Machine Learning Model Improves Mortality Risk Prediction for Cardiac Surgery Patients

Machine learning algorithms have been deployed to create predictive models in various medical fields, with some demonstrating improved outcomes compared to their standard-of-care counterparts.... Read more

Point of Care

view channel
Image: The broad-spectrum POC coagulometer is well-suited for emergency room and emergency vehicle use (Photo courtesy of Perosphere)

Novel POC Coagulometer with Lab-Like Precision to Revolutionize Coagulation Testing

In emergency settings, when patients arrive with a bleed or require urgent surgery, doctors rely solely on clinical judgment to determine if a patient is adequately anticoagulated for reversal treatment.... Read more


view channel
Image: The global surgical lights market is expected to grow by close to USD 0.50 billion from 2022 to 2027 (Photo courtesy of Freepik)

Global Surgical Lights Market Driven by Increasing Number of Procedures

The global surgical lights market is set to witness high growth, largely due to the increasing incidence of chronic illnesses, a surge in demand for cosmetic and plastic surgeries, and untapped opportunities... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2023 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.