Virus-like particles (VLPs) provide great potential to develop future vaccines against highly pathogenic viral pathogens. VLPs mimic the virus in structure and morphology, but are non-infectious, featuring a high safety profile. The goal of our proposed project is to develop vaccine technology based on recombinant VLPs. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza virus are important respiratory viral pathogens. There is no licensed vaccine against RSV. There are 9 times more deaths by RSV than those by influenza among young infants. The fact that licensed RSV drugs are based on antibodies highly supports the possibility to develop an effective RSV vaccine. We have developed RSV VLP vaccines that are proven to be effective in preventing RSV enhanced disease from recent feasibility studies. However, RSV VLP vaccine technology is in an early stage of development and much study is needed to provide sufficient preclinical efficacy data of RSV VLP vaccines. We hypothesize that RSV VLP vaccines developed in our feasibility studies will be highly effective in inducing protective immunity against RSV. In the specific aim 1, we will focus on obtaining sufficient proof-of-concept efficacy data of RSV VLP vaccines as well as testing long-term immunity and non-needle delivery technologies (intranasal, microneedle skin, and oral vaccination). As for aim 2, we will develop antigen targeting vaccine adjuvant systems by using molecularly adjuvanted VLP technology and test licensed adjuvants. Also, utilizing VLP vaccine technology, we have developed a promising universal influenza VLP vaccine and obtained sufficient proof-of-concept efficacy data, which is expected to significantly improve the current egg-substrate based influenza vaccines. In the aim 3, we will extend the preclinical efficacy tests of VLP vaccines to cotton rats (RSV VLPs) and ferrets (novel universal influenza VLPs). VLP vaccines proposed in this application will provide an excellent system to prove VLP vaccine technologies which are also applicable to other biodefense pathogens.

Public Health Relevance

Recombinant virus-like particles are considered as a promising new technology to develop future vaccines against viral pathogens such as influenza and Respiratory Syncytial virus, both of which continue to cause public health problems. Therefore, development of virus-like particle vaccine technology including novel adjuvants and non-needle vaccine delivery will have a significant impact on developing new vaccines, and thus improving the public health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1-SM-M (J1))
Program Officer
Salomon, Rachelle
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Georgia State University
Organized Research Units
United States
Zip Code
Park, Soojin; Lee, Youri; Kwon, Young-Man et al. (2018) Vaccination by microneedle patch with inactivated respiratory syncytial virus and monophosphoryl lipid A enhances the protective efficacy and diminishes inflammatory disease after challenge. PLoS One 13:e0205071
Kim, Yu-Jin; Kim, Ki-Hye; Ko, Eun-Ju et al. (2018) Complement C3 Plays a Key Role in Inducing Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses to Influenza Virus Strain-Specific Hemagglutinin-Based or Cross-Protective M2 Extracellular Domain-Based Vaccination. J Virol 92:
Lee, Young-Tae; Ko, Eun-Ju; Lee, Youri et al. (2018) Intranasal vaccination with M2e5x virus-like particles induces humoral and cellular immune responses conferring cross-protection against heterosubtypic influenza viruses. PLoS One 13:e0190868
Wang, Ye; Jung, Yu-Jin; Kim, Ki-Hye et al. (2018) Antiviral Activity of Fermented Ginseng Extracts against a Broad Range of Influenza Viruses. Viruses 10:
Kim, Ki-Hye; Kwon, Young-Man; Lee, Young-Tae et al. (2018) Virus-like particles presenting flagellin exhibit unique adjuvant effects on eliciting T helper type 1 humoral and cellular immune responses to poor immunogenic influenza virus M2e protein vaccine. Virology 524:172-181
Deng, Lei; Mohan, Teena; Chang, Timothy Z et al. (2018) Double-layered protein nanoparticles induce broad protection against divergent influenza A viruses. Nat Commun 9:359
Kim, Yu-Jin; Lee, Young-Tae; Kim, Min-Chul et al. (2017) Cross-Protective Efficacy of Influenza Virus M2e Containing Virus-Like Particles Is Superior to Hemagglutinin Vaccines and Variable Depending on the Genetic Backgrounds of Mice. Front Immunol 8:1730
Hwang, Hye Suk; Kim, Ki-Hye; Lee, Youri et al. (2017) Virus-like particle vaccines containing F or F and G proteins confer protection against respiratory syncytial virus without pulmonary inflammation in cotton rats. Hum Vaccin Immunother 13:1031-1039
Lee, Young-Tae; Ko, Eun-Ju; Kim, Ki-Hye et al. (2017) Cellular Immune Correlates Preventing Disease Against Respiratory Syncytial Virus by Vaccination with Virus-Like Nanoparticles Carrying Fusion Proteins. J Biomed Nanotechnol 13:84-98
Gangadhara, Sailaja; Kwon, Young-Man; Jeeva, Subbiah et al. (2017) Vaccination with Combination DNA and Virus-Like Particles Enhances Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses upon Boost with Recombinant Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Expressing Human Immunodeficiency Virus Envelope Proteins. Vaccines (Basel) 5:

Showing the most recent 10 out of 66 publications