Scientists at Ohio State University are working on a new method of vaccine delivery to combat human norovirus, a virus that causes highly contagious vomiting and diarrhea. Using a viral vector approach, with the vesicular stomach virus, researchers injected mice with the vaccine and saw a considerable antibody response, which was 25 times higher than the response from a traditional vaccine.
“So it looks like the virus and acts like the virus, but it’s not, and that is how a vaccine designed with virus-like particles should function,” said Jianrong Li, senior author of the study and an assistant professor at OSU. “The virus-like particles can be continually produced in animals or humans for several weeks and stimulate strong immune responses. That’s the advantage of using VSV.”
The traditional vaccine was created using a baculovirus, which is rod-shaped, instead of the VSV, which is bullet-shaped. And despite the elevated response, Li and his colleagues found no evidence of added strain to the mice–mucosal and fecal tests showed similar responses to both vaccines.