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. Our group has a track record in the development of several human and veterinary virus-based vaccines.
Rotavirus VLP vaccine
Virus like particles 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. We have been working on the rational development of a triple-layered virus like particle 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 (HCV). RetroVLPs possess a lipidic membrane where it is possible to anchor and present protein from HCV. The group is developing these VLPs using a human cell line as production platform.
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, often viral vehicles are 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 group has been working.
PPRV live- Attenuated vaccine
Whole virus vaccines, either live or inactivated (killed), constitute the vast majority of vaccines in use. Live virus vaccines are prepared from attenuated strains that are almost or completely devoid of pathogenicity but are capable of inducing a protective immune response. Our group has worked on the production and stability during storage of the live attenuated Peste de Petites Ruminant Virus vaccine.