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Point-of-Care Testing for Detection of Measles and Mumps Immunity

Description

Measles and mumps are highly contagious, vaccine-preventable diseases with cases continuing to persist in high two-dose vaccinated populations. Recent outbreaks on university and college campuses across the United States prompt a need for further understanding of the immunity levels afforded

Measles and mumps are highly contagious, vaccine-preventable diseases with cases continuing to persist in high two-dose vaccinated populations. Recent outbreaks on university and college campuses across the United States prompt a need for further understanding of the immunity levels afforded by the MMR vaccine which has significantly decreased incidence rates of measles and mumps since it was introduced.
Current methods for IgG antibody detection include enzyme immunoassays (EIA) such as the commercially available Diamedix Immunosimplicity® Measles IgG test kit and the Diamedix Immunosimplicity® Mumps IgG test kit. EIAs generally provide high sensitivity and strong specificity, however, there is a need for rapid screening of measles and mumps specific immunity in outbreak and resource-limited areas which could be solved by use a point-of-care (POC) platform.
This study aims to optimize a point-of-care device for the multiplexed detection of MeV, MuV, and RuV IgG antibodies in sera and to compare the sensitivity to commercial enzyme immunoassays. The IgG antibody levels to MeV and MuV were measured using EIA test kits for a total of 44 healthy serum samples. Of the samples, 6% were seronegative for MeV-specific IgG antibodies and 75% were seronegative for MuV-specific antibodies, showing low correlation of IgG antibody levels between both viruses.
To improve the sensitivity of the POC device, multiple conjugated fluorescent secondary antibodies were tested with different surface chemistries. Signal detection was measured using the pre-developed four-site slide reader. Preliminary data show that Nile Red microspheres provide robust signal detection and should be the secondary antibody of choice when sera are tested for IgG antibodies using the POC platform in future work.

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Date Created
2017-05

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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) protein as an immunogen to be vectored by a measles

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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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 was the development of a lattice to host proteins for

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

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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 of such antibodies, including long half-life and adverse events related

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