Vaccine Development Against COVID-19 Prior to Pandemic Outbreaks, Using Evolution and Reverse Genetics.
MetadataShow full item record
Developing vaccines against COVID-19 during or after future pandemic outbreaks will be too slow to save lives. The opinion presented here is that we can anticipate the virus genomic structures that will emerge and cause future pandemics; therefore, we can preemptively design a vaccine prior to such a pandemic. This can be done through in vitro evolution, using the open reading frames of the genes from SARS-CoV-2 that code for the immunodominant epitopes of the virus (i.e., N, M, S, and E), as a template for in vitro evolution using DNA shuffling techniques. The resulting recombinant library will be subcloned in lentiviral integrating vectors and be transfected in cell lines that are susceptible for SARS-CoV2, which will be allowed to secrete the corresponding recombinant virus-like particles (VLPs). The resulting VLPs could be tested for protection against mutant viral particles using reverse genetics. Stable, transgenic cell lines could then be generated from the VLP vaccines most protective against the highly pathogenic recombinant viruses. These cell lines could be expanded in large bioreactors to be assembled and shipped to the site(s) of pandemic outbreaks as they happened. This would be expected to prevent deaths during pandemic outbreaks.