Papers of the Month – 2023

December, 2023

JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Nov 1;6(11):e2342151. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.42151. PMID: 37938846; PMCID: PMC10632958.

McGrath LJ, Malhotra D, Miles AC, Welch VL, Di Fusco M, Surinach A, Barthel A, Alfred T, Jodar L, McLaughlin JM.


Importance: No data comparing the estimated effectiveness of coadministering COVID-19 vaccines with seasonal influenza vaccine (SIV) in the community setting exist.

Objective: To examine the comparative effectiveness associated with coadministering the BNT162b2 BA.4/5 bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (BNT162b2-biv [Pfizer BioNTech]) and SIV vs giving each vaccine alone.

Design, setting, and participants: A retrospective comparative effectiveness study evaluated US adults aged 18 years or older enrolled in commercial health insurance or Medicare Advantage plans and vaccinated with BNT162b2-biv only, SIV only, or both on the same day between August 31, 2022, and January 30, 2023. Individuals with monovalent or another brand of mRNA bivalent COVID-19 vaccine were excluded.

Exposure: Same-day coadministration of BNT162b2-biv and SIV; receipt of BNT162b2-biv only (for COVID-19-related outcomes) or SIV only (for influenza-related outcomes) were the comparator groups. For adults aged 65 years or older, only enhanced SIVs were included.

Main outcomes and measures: COVID-19-related and influenza-related hospitalization, emergency department (ED) or urgent care (UC) encounters, and outpatient visits.

Results: Overall, 3 442 996 individuals (57.0% female; mean [SD] age, 65 [16.7] years) were included. A total of 627 735 individuals had BNT162b2-biv and SIV vaccine coadministered, 369 423 had BNT162b2-biv alone, and 2 445 838 had SIV alone. Among those aged 65 years or older (n = 2 210 493; mean [SD] age, 75 [6.7] years; 57.9% female), the coadministration group had a similar incidence of COVID-19-related hospitalization (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR], 1.04; 95% CI, 0.87-1.24) and slightly higher incidence of emergency department or urgent care encounters (AHR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.02-1.23) and outpatient visits (AHR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.01-1.11) compared with the BNT162b2-biv-only group. Among individuals aged 18 to 64 years (n = 1 232 503; mean [SD] age, 47 [13.1] years; 55.4% female), the incidence of COVID-19-related outcomes was slightly higher among those who received both vaccines vs BNT162b2-biv alone (AHR point estimate range, 1.14-1.57); however, fewer events overall in this age group resulted in wider CIs. Overall, compared with those who received SIV alone, the coadministration group had a slightly lower incidence of most influenza-related end points (AHR point estimates 0.83-0.93 for those aged ≥65 years vs 0.76-1.08 for those aged 18-64 years). Negative control outcomes suggested residual bias and calibration of COVID-19-related and influenza-related outcomes with negative controls moved all estimates closer to the null, with most CIs crossing 1.00.

November, 2023

Sci Transl Med. 2023 Oct 4;15(716):eadf9556. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.adf9556. Epub 2023 Oct 4. PMID: 37792959.

Yan J, Nielsen TB, Lu P, Talyansky Y, Slarve M, Reza H, Novakovic B, Netea MG, Keller AE, Warren T, DiGiandomenico A, Sellman BR, Luna BM, Spellberg B.

Traditional vaccines are difficult to deploy against the diverse antimicrobial-resistant, nosocomial pathogens that cause health care-associated infections. We developed a protein-free vaccine composed of aluminum hydroxide, monophosphoryl lipid A, and fungal mannan that improved survival and reduced bacterial burden of mice with invasive blood or lung infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis, extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-expressing Escherichia coli, and carbapenem-resistant strains of Acinetobacter baumanniiKlebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The vaccine also conferred protection against the fungi Rhizopus delemar and Candida albicans. Efficacy was apparent by 24 hours and lasted for up to 28 days after a single vaccine dose, with a second dose restoring efficacy. The vaccine acted through stimulation of the innate, rather than the adaptive, immune system, as demonstrated by efficacy in the absence of lymphocytes that were abrogated by macrophage depletion. A role for macrophages was further supported by the finding that vaccination induced macrophage epigenetic alterations that modulated phagocytosis and the inflammatory response to infection. Together, these data show that this protein-free vaccine is a promising strategy to prevent deadly antimicrobial-resistant health care-associated infections.

October, 2023

NPJ Vaccines. 2023 Sep 27;8(1):141. doi: 10.1038/s41541-023-00742-7. PMID: 37758751; PMCID: PMC10533894.

Krauson AJ, Casimero FVC, Siddiquee Z, Stone JR.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BNT162b2 (BioNTech-Pfizer) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) mRNA vaccines were expediently designed and mass produced. Both vaccines produce the full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike protein for gain of immunity and have greatly reduced mortality and morbidity from SARS-CoV-2 infection. The distribution and duration of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine persistence in human tissues is unclear. Here, we developed specific RT-qPCR-based assays to detect each mRNA vaccine and screened lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and myocardium from recently vaccinated deceased patients. Vaccine was detected in the axillary lymph nodes in the majority of patients dying within 30 days of vaccination, but not in patients dying more than 30 days from vaccination. Vaccine was not detected in the mediastinal lymph nodes, spleen, or liver. Vaccine was detected in the myocardium in a subset of patients vaccinated within 30 days of death. Cardiac ventricles in which vaccine was detected had healing myocardial injury at the time of vaccination and had more myocardial macrophages than the cardiac ventricles in which vaccine was not detected. These results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines routinely persist up to 30 days from vaccination and can be detected in the heart.

September, 2023

J Clin Invest. 2023 Aug 15;133(16):e169676. doi: 10.1172/JCI169676.


Zhu H, Chelysheva I, Cross DL, Blackwell L, Jin C, Gibani MM, Jones E, Hill J, Trück J, Kelly DF, Blohmke CJ, Pollard AJ, O’Connor D. Molecular correlates of vaccine-induced protection against typhoid fever.


BACKGROUND. Typhoid fever is caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and poses a substantial public health burden worldwide. Vaccines have been developed based on the surface Vi-capsular polysaccharide of S. Typhi; these include a plain-polysaccharide-based vaccine, ViPS, and a glycoconjugate vaccine, ViTT. To understand immune responses to these vaccines and their vaccine-induced immunological protection, molecular signatures were analyzed using bioinformatic approaches.

METHODS. Bulk RNA-Seq data were generated from blood samples obtained from adult human volunteers enrolled in a vaccine trial, who were then challenged with S. Typhi in a controlled human infection model (CHIM). These data were used to conduct differential gene expression analyses, gene set and modular analyses, B cell repertoire analyses, and time-course analyses at various post-vaccination and post-challenge time points between participants receiving ViTT, ViPS, or a control meningococcal vaccine.

RESULTS. Transcriptomic responses revealed strong differential molecular signatures between the 2 typhoid vaccines, mostly driven by the upregulation in humoral immune signatures, including selective usage of immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region (IGHV) genes and more polarized clonal expansions. We describe several molecular correlates of protection against S. Typhi infection, including clusters of B cell receptor (BCR) clonotypes associated with protection, with known binders of Vi-polysaccharide among these.

CONCLUSION. The study reports a series of contemporary analyses that reveal the transcriptomic signatures after vaccination and infectious challenge, while identifying molecular correlates of protection that may inform future vaccine design and assessment.

August, 2023

Sci Transl Med. 2023 Jul 12;15(704):eadf1782. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.adf1782. Epub 2023 Jul 12. PMID: 37437014.


Hou MM, Barrett JR, Themistocleous Y, Rawlinson TA, Diouf A, Martinez FJ, Nielsen CM, Lias AM, King LDW, Edwards NJ, Greenwood NM, Kingham L, Poulton ID, Khozoee B, Goh C, Hodgson SH, Mac Lochlainn DJ, Salkeld J, Guillotte-Blisnick M, Huon C, Mohring F, Reimer JM, Chauhan VS, Mukherjee P, Biswas S, Taylor IJ, Lawrie AM, Cho JS, Nugent FL, Long CA, Moon RW, Miura K, Silk SE, Chitnis CE, Minassian AM, Draper SJ.


There are no licensed vaccines against Plasmodium vivax. We conducted two phase 1/2a clinical trials to assess two vaccines targeting P. vivax Duffy-binding protein region II (PvDBPII). Recombinant viral vaccines using chimpanzee adenovirus 63 (ChAd63) and modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vectors as well as a protein and adjuvant formulation (PvDBPII/Matrix-M) were tested in both a standard and a delayed dosing regimen. Volunteers underwent controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) after their last vaccination, alongside unvaccinated controls. Efficacy was assessed by comparisons of parasite multiplication rates in the blood. PvDBPII/Matrix-M, given in a delayed dosing regimen, elicited the highest antibody responses and reduced the mean parasite multiplication rate after CHMI by 51% (n = 6) compared with unvaccinated controls (n = 13), whereas no other vaccine or regimen affected parasite growth. Both viral-vectored and protein vaccines were well tolerated and elicited expected, short-lived adverse events. Together, these results support further clinical evaluation of the PvDBPII/Matrix-M P. vivax vaccine.

July, 2023

Nature. 2023 Jun;618(7963):144-150. doi: 10.1038/s41586-023-06063-y. Epub 2023 May 10. PMID: 37165196; PMCID: PMC10171177.


Rojas LA, Sethna Z, Soares KC, Olcese C, Pang N, Patterson E, Lihm J, Ceglia N, Guasp P, Chu A, Yu R, Chandra AK, Waters T, Ruan J, Amisaki M, Zebboudj A, Odgerel Z, Payne G, Derhovanessian E, Müller F, Rhee I, Yadav M, Dobrin A, Sadelain M, Łuksza M, Cohen N, Tang L, Basturk O, Gönen M, Katz S, Do RK, Epstein AS, Momtaz P, Park W, Sugarman R, Varghese AM, Won E, Desai A, Wei AC, D’Angelica MI, Kingham TP, Mellman I, Merghoub T, Wolchok JD, Sahin U, Türeci Ö, Greenbaum BD, Jarnagin WR, Drebin J, O’Reilly EM, Balachandran VP.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is lethal in 88% of patients1, yet harbours mutation-derived T cell neoantigens that are suitable for vaccines 2,3. Here in a phase I trial of adjuvant autogene cevumeran, an individualized neoantigen vaccine based on uridine mRNA-lipoplex nanoparticles, we synthesized mRNA neoantigen vaccines in real time from surgically resected PDAC tumours. After surgery, we sequentially administered atezolizumab (an anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy), autogene cevumeran (a maximum of 20 neoantigens per patient) and a modified version of a four-drug chemotherapy regimen (mFOLFIRINOX, comprising folinic acid, fluorouracil, irinotecan and oxaliplatin). The end points included vaccine-induced neoantigen-specific T cells by high-threshold assays, 18-month recurrence-free survival and oncologic feasibility. We treated 16 patients with atezolizumab and autogene cevumeran, then 15 patients with mFOLFIRINOX. Autogene cevumeran was administered within 3 days of benchmarked times, was tolerable and induced de novo high-magnitude neoantigen-specific T cells in 8 out of 16 patients, with half targeting more than one vaccine neoantigen. Using a new mathematical strategy to track T cell clones (CloneTrack) and functional assays, we found that vaccine-expanded T cells comprised up to 10% of all blood T cells, re-expanded with a vaccine booster and included long-lived polyfunctional neoantigen-specific effector CD8+ T cells. At 18-month median follow-up, patients with vaccine-expanded T cells (responders) had a longer median recurrence-free survival (not reached) compared with patients without vaccine-expanded T cells (non-responders; 13.4 months, P = 0.003). Differences in the immune fitness of the patients did not confound this correlation, as responders and non-responders mounted equivalent immunity to a concurrent unrelated mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. Thus, adjuvant atezolizumab, autogene cevumeran and mFOLFIRINOX induces substantial T cell activity that may correlate with delayed PDAC recurrence.

June, 2023

Sci Transl Med. 2023 May 10;15(695):eadg7404. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.adg7404. Epub 2023 May 10. PMID: 37163615.


Feng Y, Yuan M, Powers JM, Hu M, Munt JE, Arunachalam PS, Leist SR, Bellusci L, Kim J, Sprouse KR, Adams LE, Sundaramurthy S, Zhu X, Shirreff LM, Mallory ML, Scobey TD, Moreno A, O’Hagan DT, Kleanthous H, Villinger FJ, Veesler D, King NP, Suthar MS, Khurana S, Baric RS, Wilson IA, Pulendran B.


The rapid emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants that evade immunity elicited by vaccination has placed an imperative on the development of countermeasures that provide broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 and related sarbecoviruses. Here, we identified extremely potent monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that neutralized multiple sarbecoviruses from macaques vaccinated with AS03-adjuvanted monovalent subunit vaccines. Longitudinal analysis revealed progressive accumulation of somatic mutation in the immunoglobulin genes of antigen-specific memory B cells (MBCs) for at least 1 year after primary vaccination. Antibodies generated from these antigen-specific MBCs at 5 to 12 months after vaccination displayed greater potency and breadth relative to those identified at 1.4 months. Fifteen of the 338 (about 4.4%) antibodies isolated at 1.4 to 6 months after the primary vaccination showed potency against SARS-CoV-2 BA.1, despite the absence of serum BA.1 neutralization. 25F9 and 20A7 neutralized authentic clade 1 sarbecoviruses (SARS-CoV, WIV-1, SHC014, SARS-CoV-2 D614G, BA.1, and Pangolin-GD) and vesicular stomatitis virus-pseudotyped clade 3 sarbecoviruses (BtKY72 and PRD-0038). 20A7 and 27A12 showed potent neutralization against all SARS-CoV-2 variants and multiple Omicron sublineages, including BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4/5, BQ.1, BQ.1.1, and XBB. Crystallography studies revealed the molecular basis of broad and potent neutralization through targeting conserved sites within the RBD. Prophylactic protection of 25F9, 20A7, and 27A12 was confirmed in mice, and administration of 25F9 particularly provided complete protection against SARS-CoV-2, BA.1, SARS-CoV, and SHC014 challenge. These data underscore the extremely potent and broad activity of these mAbs against sarbecoviruses.

May, 2023

Sci Transl Med. 2023 Mar 8;15(686):eabn3464. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abn3464. Epub 2023 Mar 8. PMID: 36867683.


Ramos da Silva J, Bitencourt Rodrigues K, Formoso Pelegrin G, Silva Sales N, Muramatsu H, de Oliveira Silva M, Porchia BFMM, Moreno ACR, Aps LRMM, Venceslau-Carvalho AA, Tombácz I, Fotoran WL, Karikó K, Lin PJC, Tam YK, de Oliveira Diniz M, Pardi N, de Souza Ferreira LC.


As mRNA vaccines have proved to be very successful in battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, this new modality has attracted widespread interest for the development of potent vaccines against other infectious diseases and cancer. Cervical cancer caused by persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a major cause of cancer-related deaths in women, and the development of safe and effective therapeutic strategies is urgently needed. In the present study, we compared the performance of three different mRNA vaccine modalities to target tumors associated with HPV-16 infection in mice. We generated lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-encapsulated self-amplifying mRNA as well as unmodified and nucleoside-modified non-replicating mRNA vaccines encoding a chimeric protein derived from the fusion of the HPV-16 E7 oncoprotein and the herpes simplex virus type 1 glycoprotein D (gDE7). We demonstrated that single low-dose immunizations with any of the three gDE7 mRNA vaccines induced activation of E7-specific CD8+ T cells, generated memory T cell responses capable of preventing tumor relapses, and eradicated subcutaneous tumors at different growth stages. In addition, the gDE7 mRNA-LNP vaccines induced potent tumor protection in two different orthotopic mouse tumor models after administration of a single vaccine dose. Last, comparative studies demonstrated that all three gDE7 mRNA-LNP vaccines proved to be superior to gDE7 DNA and gDE7 recombinant protein vaccines. Collectively, we demonstrated the immunogenicity and therapeutic efficacy of three different mRNA vaccines in extensive comparative experiments. Our data support further evaluation of these mRNA vaccines in clinical trials.

April, 2023

NPJ Vaccines. 2023 Mar 8;8(1):34. doi: 10.1038/s41541-023-00613-1. PMID: 36890168; PMCID: PMC9992919.


Loos C, Coccia M, Didierlaurent AM, Essaghir A, Fallon JK, Lauffenburger D, Luedemann C, Michell A, van der Most R, Zhu AL, Alter G, Burny W.


The mechanisms by which antibodies confer protection vary across vaccines, ranging from simple neutralization to functions requiring innate immune recruitment via Fc-dependent mechanisms. The role of adjuvants in shaping the maturation of antibody-effector functions remains under investigated. Using systems serology, we compared adjuvants in licensed vaccines (AS01B/AS01E/AS03/AS04/Alum) combined with a model antigen. Antigen-naive adults received two adjuvanted immunizations followed by late revaccination with fractional-dosed non-adjuvanted antigen ( NCT00805389 ). A dichotomy in response quantities/qualities emerged post-dose 2 between AS01B/AS01E/AS03 and AS04/Alum, based on four features related to immunoglobulin titers or Fc-effector functions. AS01B/E and AS03 induced similar robust responses that were boosted upon revaccination, suggesting that memory B-cell programming by the adjuvanted vaccinations dictated responses post non-adjuvanted boost. AS04 and Alum induced weaker responses, that were dissimilar with enhanced functionalities for AS04. Distinct adjuvant classes can be leveraged to tune antibody-effector functions, where selective vaccine formulation using adjuvants with different immunological properties may direct antigen-specific antibody functions.

March, 2023

Immunity. 2023 Feb 14;56(2):433-443.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2023.01.012. PMID: 36792576.


Tang WK, Coelho CH, Miura K, Nguemwo Tentokam BC, Salinas ND, Narum DL, Healy SA, Sagara I, Long CA, Duffy PE, Tolia NH.


Pfs230 domain 1 (Pfs230D1) is an advanced malaria transmission-blocking vaccine antigen demonstrating high functional activity in clinical trials. However, the structural and functional correlates of transmission-blocking activity are not defined. Here, we characterized a panel of human monoclonal antibodies (hmAbs) elicited in vaccinees immunized with Pfs230D1.  These hmAbs exhibited diverse transmission-reducing activity, yet all bound to Pfs230D1 with nanomolar affinity. We compiled epitope-binning data for seventeen hmAbs and structures of nine hmAbs complexes to construct a high-resolution epitope map and revealed that potent transmission-reducing hmAbs bound to one face of Pfs230D1, while non-potent hmAbs bound to the opposing side. The structure of Pfs230D1D2 revealed that non-potent transmission-reducing epitopes were occluded by the second domain. The mAb epitope map delineated binary hmAb combinations that synergized for extremely high-potency, transmission-reducing activity. This work provides a high-resolution guide for structure-based design of enhanced immunogens and informs diagnostics that measure the transmission-reducing response.

February, 2023

Science. 2023 Jan 27;379(6630):eabn8934. doi: 10.1126/science.abn8934. Epub 2023 Jan 27. PMID: 36701450.


Aung A, Cui A, Maiorino L, Amini AP, Gregory JR, Bukenya M, Zhang Y, Lee H, Cottrell CA, Morgan DM, Silva M, Suh H, Kirkpatrick JD, Amlashi P, Remba T, Froehle LM, Xiao S, Abraham W, Adams J, Love JC, Huyett P, Kwon DS, Hacohen N, Schief WR, Bhatia SN, Irvine DJ.


The structural integrity of vaccine antigens is critical to the generation of protective antibody responses, but the impact of protease activity on vaccination in vivo is poorly understood. We characterized protease activity in lymph nodes and found that antigens were rapidly degraded in the subcapsular sinus, paracortex, and interfollicular regions, whereas low protease activity and antigen degradation rates were detected in the vicinity of follicular dendritic cells (FDCs). Correlated with these findings, immunization regimens designed to target antigen to FDCs led to germinal centers dominantly targeting intact antigen, whereas traditional immunizations led to much weaker responses that equally targeted the intact immunogen and antigen breakdown products. Thus, spatially compartmentalized antigen proteolysis affects humoral immunity and can be exploited.

January, 2023

Lancet Microbe. 2021 Sep;2(9):e429-e440. doi: 10.1016/S2666-5247(20)30196-8. Epub 2021 Jun 25. PMID: 35544149.


Yuki Y, Nojima M, Hosono O, Tanaka H, Kimura Y, Satoh T, Imoto S, Uematsu S, Kurokawa S, Kashima K, Mejima M, Nakahashi-Ouchida R, Uchida Y, Marui T, Yoshikawa N, Nagamura F, Fujihashi K, Kiyono H.


Background: There are an estimated 1·3-4·0 million cases of cholera and 20 000-140 000 cholera-related deaths worldwide each year. The rice-based cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) vaccine, MucoRice-CTB, is an oral candidate vaccine that does not require a cold chain, has shown efficacy in animal models, and could be of benefit in places where there is a paucity of medical infrastructure. We aim to assess the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of MucoRice-CTB in humans.

Methods: We did a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation, phase 1 study at one centre in Tokyo, Japan. Eligible participants were healthy adult men with measurable serum and faecal antibodies against CTB at screening. Participants were excluded if they had allergy to rice; history of cholera or travellers’ diarrhoea; poorly controlled constipation; abnormal results on hepatic, renal, or haematological screening tests; use of any over-the-counter drugs within 7 days before first administration; inability to use a medically acceptable means of contraception; or other reasons by medical judgment of the investigator. Three dose cohorts of participants were randomly assigned by block to receive oral MucoRice-CTB (1 g, 3 g, or 6 g) or placebo (1 g, 3 g, or 6 g), once every 2 weeks for 8 weeks (for a total of 4 doses). The dose groups were performed sequentially, and each dose cohort was completed before the higher dose cohort began. All medical staff, participants, and most trial staff were masked to treatment allocation. The primary outcomes were safety and tolerability, measured by 12-lead electrocardiogram; vital signs; haematology, biochemistry, and urinalysis; rice protein-specific serum IgE antibody concentration; and monitoring of adverse events. Participants were assessed at baseline and at 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 16 weeks after the first administration of vaccine or placebo. The safety analysis set included all participants enrolled in the trial who received at least one dose of the study drug or placebo and were compliant with good clinical practice. The full analysis population included all participants enrolled in the trial who received at least one dose of the study drug and for whom any data were obtained after the start of study drug administration. Meta-genomic analysis of study participants was performed using bacterial DNA from faecal samples before vaccination. This trial is registered with, UMIN000018001.

Findings: Between June 23, 2015, and May 31, 2016, 226 participants were recruited and assessed for eligibility. 166 participants were excluded based on health condition or schedule. We then randomly selected 60 male volunteers aged 20-40 years who were enrolled and assigned to MucoRice-CTB (10 participants assigned to 1 g, 10 participants assigned to 3 g, and 10 participants assigned to 6 g), or placebo (10 participants assigned to 1 g, 10 participants assigned to 3 g, and 10 participants assigned to 6 g). All participants received at least one dose of study drug or placebo and were included in the safety analyses. Two participants given MucoRice-CTB 3 g and one participant given MucoRice-CTB 6 g were lost to follow-up and excluded from the efficacy analysis. Serum CTB-specific IgG and IgA antibody concentrations in participants who received 6 g MucoRice-CTB increased significantly in both a time-dependent and dose-dependent manner compared with those in the placebo groups (p for interaction=0·002 for IgG, p=0·004 for IgA). Genome analysis of subjects’ faeces before vaccination revealed that compared to non-responders, responders had a gut microbiota of higher diversity with the presence of Escherichia coli and Shigella spp. 28 (93%) of 30 participants who received MucoRice-CTB at any dose had at least one adverse event during the study period, compared with 30 (100%) of 30 participants given placebo. Grade 3 or higher adverse events were reported in four participants in the MucoRice-CTB group (5 events) and four participants in the placebo group (10 events). The most common serious adverse event was haemoglobin decreased (2 events in 2 participants in the pooled MucoRice-CTB group, 2 events in 2 participants in the placebo group; all grade 3).

Interpretation: Participants given MucoRice-CTB showed increased CTB-specific serum IgG and IgA antibody concentrations without inducing serious adverse events, indicating that MucoRice-CTB could be a safe and potent vaccine to prevent diarrhoeal disease. MucoRice-CTB induced neutralising antibodies against diarrhoeal toxins in a gut microbiota-dependent manner. A similar phase 1 trial will be done with participants of other ethnicities to substantiate our findings.

The International Society for Vaccines is an organization that engages, supports, and sustains the professional goals of a diverse membership in all areas relevant to vaccines and immunotherapeutics.  The ISV is a global not-for-profit organization that aims to encourage, establish, and promote the development and use of vaccines to prevent and control infectious and non-infectious diseases in animals and humans.  /  ISV Annual Congress