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Front Immunol. 2019 Jan 24;10:22. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00022. eCollection 2019.

Nanoparticle-Based Vaccines Against Respiratory Viruses.

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Département de Chimie, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Quebec Network for Research on Protein Function, Engineering and Applications, PROTEO, Quebec, QC, Canada.
Département des Sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie Porcine et Avicole (CRIPA), Université de Montréal, St-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada.


The respiratory mucosa is the primary portal of entry for numerous viruses such as the respiratory syncytial virus, the influenza virus and the parainfluenza virus. These pathogens initially infect the upper respiratory tract and then reach the lower respiratory tract, leading to diseases. Vaccination is an affordable way to control the pathogenicity of viruses and constitutes the strategy of choice to fight against infections, including those leading to pulmonary diseases. Conventional vaccines based on live-attenuated pathogens present a risk of reversion to pathogenic virulence while inactivated pathogen vaccines often lead to a weak immune response. Subunit vaccines were developed to overcome these issues. However, these vaccines may suffer from a limited immunogenicity and, in most cases, the protection induced is only partial. A new generation of vaccines based on nanoparticles has shown great potential to address most of the limitations of conventional and subunit vaccines. This is due to recent advances in chemical and biological engineering, which allow the design of nanoparticles with a precise control over the size, shape, functionality and surface properties, leading to enhanced antigen presentation and strong immunogenicity. This short review provides an overview of the advantages associated with the use of nanoparticles as vaccine delivery platforms to immunize against respiratory viruses and highlights relevant examples demonstrating their potential as safe, effective and affordable vaccines.


immune response; mucosal sites; nanocarriers; nanovaccine; respiratory viruses

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