Matching Items (37)

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The Development of a Plant-Expressed M2e-Based Universal Influenza Vaccine

Description

Influenza is a deadly disease for which effective vaccines are sorely lacking. This is largely due to the phenomena of antigenic shift and drift in the influenza virus's surface proteins,

Influenza is a deadly disease for which effective vaccines are sorely lacking. This is largely due to the phenomena of antigenic shift and drift in the influenza virus's surface proteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). The ectodomain of the matrix 2 protein (M2e) of influenza A, however, has demonstrated high levels of conservation. On its own it is poorly immunogenic and offers little protection against influenza infections, but by combining it with a potent adjuvant, this limitation may be overcome. Recombinant immune complexes, or antigens fused to antibodies that have been engineered to form incredibly immunogenic complexes with one another, were previously shown to be useful, immunogenic platforms for the presentation of various antigens and could provide the boost in immunogenicity that M2e needs to become a powerful universal influenza A vaccine. In this thesis, genetic constructs containing geminiviral replication proteins and coding for a consensus sequence of dimeric M2e fused to antibodies featuring complimentary epitopes and epitope tags were generated and used to transform Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The transformed bacteria was then used to cause Nicotiana benthamiana to transiently express M2e-RICs at very high levels, with enough RICs being gathered to evaluate their potency in future mouse trials. Future directions and areas for further research are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Development of Synbody Peptides for PD-L1 Blockade for use as a Cancer Vaccine Adjuvant

Description

PD-L1 blockade has shown recent success in cancer therapy and cancer vaccine regimens. One approach for anti-PD-L1 antibodies has been their application as adjuvants for cancer vaccines. Given the disadvantages

PD-L1 blockade has shown recent success in cancer therapy and cancer vaccine regimens. One approach for anti-PD-L1 antibodies has been their application as adjuvants for cancer vaccines. Given the disadvantages of such antibodies, including long half-life and adverse events related to their use, a novel strategy using synbodies in place of antibodies can be tested. Synbodies offer a variety of advantages, including shorter half-life, smaller size, and cheaper cost. Peptides that could bind PD-L1 were identified via peptide arrays and used to construct synbodies. These synbodies were tested with inhibition ELISA assays, SPR, and pull down assays. Additional flow cytometry analysis was done to determine the binding specificity of the synbodies to PD-L1 and the ability of those synbodies to inhibit the PD-L1/PD-1 interaction. Although analysis of permeabilized cells expressing PD-L1 indicated that the synbodies could successfully bind PD-L1, those results were not replicated in non-permeabilized cells. Further assays suggested that the binding of the synbodies was non-specific. Other tests were done to see if the synbodies could inhibit the PD-1/PD-L1 interaction. This assay did not yield any conclusive results and further experimentation is needed to determine the efficacy of the synbodies in inhibiting this interaction.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

Developing and Pilot Testing Digital Storytelling Interventions to Promote HPV Vaccinations among Vietnamese American Adolescents

Description

Significance Background: Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, affecting 79 million Americans today and an additional 14 million Americans becoming infected with HPV each year.

Significance Background: Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, affecting 79 million Americans today and an additional 14 million Americans becoming infected with HPV each year. HPV infection may lead to the development of genital warts and several types of cancers including both cervical and oropharyngeal cancers. The promotion of currently available HPV vaccines is important to prevent HPV transmission and reduce the prevalence of the comorbidities associated with infection. Promotion to Vietnamese-Americans in particular is important because of the increased rates of cervical cancers seen in this population. As Vietnamese-American mothers often act as the primary healthcare decision maker for their children, they were chosen as the target population for this intervention. Purpose: This study aims to (1) develop personal digital stories about HPV and HPV vaccination among Vietnamese women with adolescent children who are vaccinated against HPV; and (2) share these stories with a group of Vietnamese American mothers and assess the effect of the stories in changing the attitudes, beliefs, and intention to vaccinate for HPV. Methods: This study used a two-step process to design, implement, and evaluate digital stories to improve Vietnamese mothers' attitudes, beliefs, and intention to vaccinate their adolescent children against HPV. The first step was a formative research design to develop the digital stories. The second step was quasi-experimental with a pre and posttest design to evaluate the effect of the stories. Results: The first phase has produced two digital stories which will be screened recruitment has been completed for phase two. Content analysis showed the importance of community resources, the desire to protect children, a history of familial and/or personal cancer, concerns about side effects, and the influence of healthcare providers as themes in both stories. Recruitment efforts are underway to recruit eligible Vietnamese mothers to assess the effect of these stories. Data collection is ongoing. Conclusions and lessons learned: The project has yielded two digital stories and recruitment for phase two is underway. This project has been successful in obtaining IRB approval, recruiting phase one participants, holding a digital storytelling workshop, designing the phase two survey, and beginning data collection efforts. The phase two recruitment has been challenging and will necessitate a change in strategy to find participants.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Perceptions of Vaccine Risks and Effectiveness Among ASU Students

Description

The development of safe and effective vaccines has been one of the greatest public achievements of the 20th century. However, there is still considerable public debate about the relative health

The development of safe and effective vaccines has been one of the greatest public achievements of the 20th century. However, there is still considerable public debate about the relative health costs and benefits of vaccines, and the information and misinformation spread through these debates can have a direct impact on vaccination and whether or not herd immunity will continue in the United States for different diseases. To understand perceptions of vaccine risks and effectiveness among young adults in the U.S., this study describes Arizona State University students' perceptions of the harms and benefits of vaccines. A preliminary free list (n=30) identified what vaccines ASU college students were most likely to recall spontaneously. The six vaccines most commonly mentioned by ASU students were: influenza (flu), chickenpox, HPV, polio, MMR, and smallpox. Using these top six vaccines, we then developed a second survey about the knowledge and perceptions of each of these vaccines and vaccines as a whole. We found that students generally perceived vaccines as safe and important to their health, but they maintained an overall lack of understanding of how vaccines work and what they protect against. While this study is only a preliminary investigation into the perceptions of ASU college students on six commonly mentioned vaccines, this could lead to investigations on how to educate and promote the usage of vaccines to college students.

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Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Effects of LCMV Infection on Murine Fetal Development in Immunized Mothers

Description

Despite a continuously growing body of evidence that they are one of the major causes of pregnancy loss, preterm birth, pregnancy complications, and developmental abnormalities leading to high rates of

Despite a continuously growing body of evidence that they are one of the major causes of pregnancy loss, preterm birth, pregnancy complications, and developmental abnormalities leading to high rates of morbidity and mortality, viruses are often overlooked and underestimated as teratogens. The Zika virus epidemic beginning in Brazil in 2015 brought teratogenic viruses into the spotlight for the public health community and popular media, and its infamy may bring about positive motivation and funding for novel treatments and vaccination strategies against it and a variety of other viruses that can lead to severe congenital disease. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) is famous in the biomedical community for its historic and continued utility in mouse models of the human immune system, but it is rarely a source of clinical concern in terms of its teratogenic risk to humans, despite its ability to cause consistently severe ocular and neurological abnormalities in cases of congenital infection. Possibilities for a safe and effective LCMV vaccine remain difficult, as the robust immune response typical to LCMV can be either efficiently protective or lethally pathological based on relatively small changes in the host type, viral strain, viral dose, method of infection/immunization, or molecular characteristics of synthetic vaccination. Introducing the immunologically unique state of pregnancy and fetal development to the mix adds complexity to the process. This thesis consists of a literature review of teratogenic viruses as a whole, of LCMV and its complications during pregnancy, of LCMV immunopathology, and of current understanding of vaccination against LCMV and against other teratogenic viruses, as well as a hypothetical experimental design intended to initially bridge the gaps between LCMV vaccinology and LCMV teratogenicity by bringing a vaccine study of LCMV into the context of viral challenge during pregnancy.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Evaluation of Plant-based Viral Vectors for West Nile Virus Antibody Expression Levels

Description

Plant viral vectors have previously been used to produce high expression levels of antibodies and other proteins of interest. By utilizing a transformed Agrobacterium with the vector containing the protein

Plant viral vectors have previously been used to produce high expression levels of antibodies and other proteins of interest. By utilizing a transformed Agrobacterium with the vector containing the protein of interest for infiltration, viral vectors can easily reach the plant cells making it an effective form of transient protein expression. For this project two different plant viral vectors were compared; the geminiviral vector derived from Bean yellow dwarf virus (BeYDV) and the MagnICON vector system derived from Tobacco Mosaic Virus(TMV) and Potato Virus X(PVX). E16, an antibody against West Nile virus, has previously been expressed using both systems but expression levels between the systems were not directly compared. Agrobacterium tumefaciens EHA105 cells were transformed with both systems and expression levels of E16 were quantified using ELISAs. Results showed very low expression levels of E16 using the geminiviral vector indicating a need for further investigation into the clone used as previous studies reported much higher expression levels with the system.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

Panic and Potential Pandemia

Description

The United States has been facing a resurgence of vaccine preventable infectious diseases. Non-medical vaccination exemptions (NMEs) which include religious exemptions and philosophical vaccine exemptions are contributing factors in state

The United States has been facing a resurgence of vaccine preventable infectious diseases. Non-medical vaccination exemptions (NMEs) which include religious exemptions and philosophical vaccine exemptions are contributing factors in state vaccination rates dropping. The policies surrounding such exemptions vary from state to state. Some states with higher rates of nonmedical vaccine exemptions are dealing with repercussions for this including vaccination rates falling below desired herd immunity and thus putting vulnerable populations such as those who are immunocompromised, too young for vaccination and the elderly at a higher risk.

This thesis aims to examine vaccine preventable re-emerging infectious diseases in the United States with the objective of reaching vaccine hesitant populations and providing them with the tools to make informed decisions to seek out immunizations. This will be done by exploring five different diseases and infections, discussing why some individuals feel hesitant to get immunizations, examining how nonmedical vaccine exemptions are correlated to increased cases of disease outbreaks, looking into state laws specifically focused on countering nonmedical vaccine exemptions and the steps that can be taken moving forward.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Display of Domain III from Dengue 2 Envelope Protein on HBsAg Virus-like Particles Vectored by Measles Virus

Description

Dengue virus infects millions of people every year. Yet there is still no vaccine available to prevent it. Here we use a neutralizing epitope determinant on the dengue envelope (E)

Dengue virus infects millions of people every year. Yet there is still no vaccine available to prevent it. Here we use a neutralizing epitope determinant on the dengue envelope (E) protein as an immunogen to be vectored by a measles virus (MV) vaccine. However the domain III (DIII) of the dengue 2 E protein is too small to be immunogenic by itself. In order for it to be displayed on a larger particle, it was inserted into the amino terminus of small hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg, S) coding sequence. To generate the recombinant MV vector and verify the efficiency of this concept, a reverse genetics system was used where the MV vectors express one or two additional transcription units to direct the assembly of hybrid HBsAg particles. Two types of recombinant measles virus were produced: pB(+)MVvac2(DIII-S,S)P and pB(+)MVvac2(DIII-S)N. Virus recovered from pB(+)MVvac2(DIII-S,S)P was viable. An ELISA assay was performed to demonstrate the expression and secretion of HBsAg. Supernatant from MVvac2(DIII-S,S)P infected cells confirmed that hybrid HBsAg-domain III particles with a density similar to traditional HBsAg particles were released. Characteristics of the subviral particle have been analyzed for the successful incorporation of domain III. The replication fitness of the recombinant MV was evaluated using multi-step growth kinetics and showed reduced replication fitness when compared to the parental strain MVvac2. This demonstrates that viral replication is hindered by the addition of the two inserts into MV genome. Further analysis of MVvac2(DIII-S)N is needed to justify immune response studies in a small animal model using both of the generated recombinant vectors.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Comparison of Antibody Responses to Myxoma Virus Inactivated Using Different Methods

Description

In this study, we investigated the inactivation of wild-type vMyx-GFP (MYXV) using different methods. Assays were performed in vitro to test the following inactivation methods: heat, longwave UV only, longwave

In this study, we investigated the inactivation of wild-type vMyx-GFP (MYXV) using different methods. Assays were performed in vitro to test the following inactivation methods: heat, longwave UV only, longwave UV with psoralen (P + LWUV), and psoralen (P) only. In vitro assays demonstrated that the psoralen alone treatment did not cause any inactivation. These results showed that effective inactivation using psoralen was likely reliant on subsequent UV irradiation, creating a synergistic effect. Additionally, the UV and P + LWUV treatment demonstrated inactivation of MYXV, although by different mechanisms, as the UV-only treated virus demonstrated background infection, while P + LWUV treated virus did not. In mice, P + LWUV and UV treatment of MYXV demonstrated to be effective inactivation methods and likely preserved the antigenic epitopes of MYXV, allowing for the production of neutralizing antibodies in mice. More research is recommended on the heat treatment of MYXV as neutralizing antibodies were not observed, possibly due to the treatment denaturing antigenic epitopes or needing more booster injections to reach the threshold antibody concentration for protection. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the intraperitoneal (IP) injection of inactivated MYXV was superior to the subcutaneous injection in eliciting a strong immune response. The increased neutralizing antibodies observed after IP injection could be due to the advantage that the IP route has of reaching lymphoid tissue faster.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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DNA Nanotechnology for Protein Co-Crystallization & Vaccine Delivery

Description

DNA nanotechnology is ideally suited for numerous applications from the crystallization and solution of macromolecular structures to the targeted delivery of therapeutic molecules. The foundational goal of structural DNA nanotechnology

DNA nanotechnology is ideally suited for numerous applications from the crystallization and solution of macromolecular structures to the targeted delivery of therapeutic molecules. The foundational goal of structural DNA nanotechnology was the development of a lattice to host proteins for crystal structure solution. To further progress towards this goal, 36 unique four-armed DNA junctions were designed and crystallized for eventual solution of their 3D structures. While most of these junctions produced macroscale crystals which diffracted successfully, several prevented crystallization. Previous results used a fixed isomer and subsequent investigations adopted an alternate isomer to investigate the impact of these small sequence changes on the stability and structural properties of these crystals. DNA nanotechnology has also shown promise for a variety biomedical applications. In particular, DNA origami has been demonstrated as a promising tool for targeted and efficient delivery of drugs and vaccines due to their programmability and addressability to suit a variety of therapeutic cargo and biological functions. To this end, a previously designed DNA barrel nanostructure with a unique multimerizable pegboard architecture has been constructed and characterized via TEM for later evaluation of its stability under biological conditions for use in the targeted delivery of cargo, including CRISPR-containing adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) and mRNA.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05