Assessment of structurally modified plant virus as a novel adjuvant in toxicity studies

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Abstract

Spherical particles (SPs) generated by thermally denatured tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) coat protein can act as an adjuvant, as they are able to enhance the magnitude and longevity of immune responses to different antigens.

Here, the toxicity of TMV SPs was assessed prior to it being offered as a universal safe adjuvant for the development of vaccine candidates. The evaluation included nonclinical studies of a local tolerance following the single administration of TMV SPs, and of the local and systemic effects following repeated administrations of TMV SPs. These were conducted in mice, rats and rabbits. General health status, haematology and blood chemistry parameters were monitored on a regular basis. Also, reproductive and development toxicity were studied. No significant signs of toxicity were detected following single or repeated administrations of the adjuvant (TMV SPs).

The absence of toxicological effects following the injection of TMV SPs is promising for the further development of recombinant vaccine candidates with TMV SPs as an adjuvant.

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