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Viral vaccines

The production of virus-based vaccines in large-scale cultures of animal cells in the early 1950s was the first industrial application of animal cell culture technology. Examples of human vaccines produced in animal cells include the ones against measles, mumps, and rubella.

The Animal Cell Technology (ACT) Unit has a track record in the development of several human and veterinary virus-based vaccines.


Rotavirus VLP vaccine

Virus-like particles (VLPs) constitutes a new vaccine concept. Such particles consist of self-assembled structural proteins from the virus which can elicit an immune response but as they lack the genetic material from the virus are safer vaccines.

At the ACT Unit, we have been working on the rational development of a triple-layered VLP vaccine against rotavirus using the baculovirus insect cell system as production platform.


HCV-retroVLP vaccine

Retrovirus-like particles (retroVLPs) emerged as a new platform of VLPs for the development of vaccines against enveloped virus, as hepatitis C virus (HCV). RetroVLPs possess a lipidic membrane where it is possible to anchor and present proteins from HCV.

The ACT Unit is developing these VLPs using a human cell line as production platform.


DNA vaccines

DNA vaccination consists in the injection of genetically engineered DNA, rather than a protein- or virus-based product. Since the efficiency of transfection of naked or complexed DNA is reduced, viral vehicles are often used to deliver the DNA. This is the case of a human adenovirus used in a veterinary DNA vaccine against Peste des Petites Ruminant virus (PPRV) in which the ACT Unit has been working.


PPRV live-attenuated vaccine

Whole virus vaccines, either live or inactivated (killed), constitute most vaccines in use. Live virus vaccines are prepared from attenuated strains that are almost or completely devoid of pathogenicity but can induce a protective immune response.

The ACT Unit has worked on the production and stability during storage of the live attenuated Peste de Petites Ruminant Virus vaccine.

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