Needle-free jet injection of novel COVID-19 DNA vaccine reveals promise in animal mannequin

In a current research posted to the bioRxiv* server, researchers at the US Military Medical Analysis Institute of Infectious Illnesses evaluated the immunogenicity of a extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) vaccine, nCOV-S(JET), in rhesus macaques. A earlier analysis of this coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) DNA vaccine concentrating on the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein elicited an ample humoral immune response in Syrian hamsters.

Study: Humoral immunogenicity of a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) DNA Vaccine in Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta) Delivered using Needle-free Jet Injection. Image Credit: ktsdesign / ShutterstockResearch: Humoral immunogenicity of a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) DNA Vaccine in Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta) Delivered using Needle-free Jet Injection. Picture Credit score: ktsdesign / Shutterstock

Concerning the research

Within the present research, researchers hypothesized that nCOV-S(JET) would mount a detectable neutralizing antibody response when delivered through needle-free jet injection and pursued proof of its immunogenicity in rhesus macaques, a non-human primate (NHP) mannequin.

They vaccinated the check animals utilizing two needle-free supply strategies. The primary technique used was the Stratis system to intramuscularly (IM) ship 2 mg per vaccination dosage. The second tried intradermal (ID) supply of 0.4 mg per vaccination with the Tropis system. The Stratis and Tropis units delivered vaccines as a jet of liquid IM or ID, respectively. The crew measured vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies utilizing two assays – i) live-virus plaque discount neutralization exams (PRNT); ii) pseudovirion neutralization assays (PsVNA). Moreover, they carried out a MAGPIX multiplex immunoassay, which makes use of the SARS-CoV-2 S, S1 subunit, receptor-binding area (RBD), and nucleocapsid (NP) proteins.

The research used 12 Chinese language-origin rhesus macaques aged eight to fifteen years and weighing between 5 and 16 kilograms. Every vaccination group comprised randomly assigned three male and three feminine animals. The crew vaccinated all of the check animals on days zero, 21, and 42 and picked up their complete blood samples on days zero, 21, 35, 63, and 168. They monitored all check animals for medical and behavioral anomalies every day.

Research findings

Rhesus macaques wanted a further (second) enhance to succeed in comparable neutralizing antibody titers as Syrian hamsters. The geometric imply titer (GMT) or PsVNA50 in hamsters was roughly 640 after two vaccinations, whereas it was 58 and 326 in rhesus macaques after two and three vaccinations, respectively. Likewise, GMT PRNT50 in hamsters after two vaccinations was roughly 640, whereas it was 24 and 71 in rhesus macaques after two and three vaccinations, respectively.

Neutralizing and binding antibody responses. PRNT50, PsVNA50, and Magpix titers from sera collected at various timepoints. A) Design. (blue arrows = vaccine dosing; red drops = blood collection time points). B) Neutralizing and binding antibody values at the indicated timepoints. Assay lower limits are shown as gray shaded area.

Neutralizing and binding antibody responses. PRNT50, PsVNA50, and Magpix titers from sera collected at varied timepoints. A) Design. (blue arrows = vaccine dosing; purple drops = blood assortment time factors). B) Neutralizing and binding antibody values on the indicated timepoints. Assay decrease limits are proven as grey shaded space.

It’s noteworthy that DNA vaccines exhibit the very best immunogenicity when administered IM in comparison with different routes. Whereas hamsters obtained a complete of 0.4 mg nCOV-S(JET) intramuscularly over three vaccinations, NHPs obtained a six mg dosage, which suggests the NHPs obtained an insufficient dose in comparison with the hamsters on a per weight foundation.

However, this DNA vaccine delivered by needle injection protected NHPs from illness. It elicited neutralizing antibody titers over 100, as measured by a PsVNA. One other research examined the same S-based DNA vaccine termed ZyCoV-D in rabbits. Three doses of its ID supply utilizing the Tropis system elicited neutralizing antibody titer of 108, as assessed through a microneutralization check. Thus, the neutralizing antibody titers elicited in NHPs seem corresponding to titers that have been protecting in rabbits.

Moreover, the nCOV-S(JET) vaccine delivered utilizing the IM Stratis system exhibited cross-neutralizing exercise towards SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC), as per the PsVNA evaluation. All of the NHPs had a minimal PsVNA50 titer of 80 towards SARS-CoV-2 WA-1 pressure, Beta, and Delta VOCs. Notably, the neutralizing antibody titers towards the Delta VOC have been the very best.

Quite the opposite, DNA vaccine delivered ID by Tropis system had decrease cross-neutralizing VOC responses. Solely two animals (#7 and #9) confirmed cross-neutralizing antibodies towards all VOCs, as measured by PsVNA, and solely #7 confirmed detectable cross-neutralizing antibodies towards all VOCs examined by PRNT. Animals #7 and #9 additionally had probably the most strong antibody binding response, as measured by the Magpix. Amongst its different advantages, the nCOV-S(JET) DNA vaccine was not formulated with lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) and didn’t require any adjuvant or electroporation. It simply used comparatively cheap disposable needleless syringes.


Future research ought to discover methods to extend the efficiency of the nCOV-S(JET) DNA vaccine to allow its use as a standalone vaccine. Nonetheless, for dosages used within the present research, it generated the specified neutralizing antibody responses following a two-dose routine, which makes this vaccine most helpful for heterologous boosting methods. This vaccination technique makes use of a booster vaccine from a special platform than the one used to finish the first vaccination collection.

A number of research have evidenced that heterologous boosts induce comparable reactogenicity and extra immunogenicity than homologous boosts for all mixtures. Subsequently, again on October 21, 2021, the US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed the usage of mRNA-1273, Ad26.COV2.S, and BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccines to be used as heterologous boosts. Likewise, a systemic evaluation discovered heterologous priming with BNT162b2 produced strong immunogenicity and tolerable reactogenicity. But, extra analysis is warranted to determine optimum mixtures, dosing regimens, and long-term security profiles of heterologous vaccination methods. To summarize, the present research confirmed the immunogenicity of the nCOV-S(JET) DNA vaccine and confirmed its potential to elicit a speedy humoral immune response in NHPs.

*Essential discover

bioRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reviews that aren’t peer-reviewed and, due to this fact, shouldn’t be considered conclusive, information medical apply/health-related conduct, or handled as established data.

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