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Sci Rep. 2019 May 21;9(1):7631. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-44020-w.

Thermal Stabilization of Viral Vaccines in Low-Cost Sugar Films.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, 1280 Main Street West, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4L7, Canada.
2
Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, McMaster Immunology Research Centre, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.
3
Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster Immunology Research Centre, McMaster University, Rm 4015 Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4K1, Canada.
4
Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster Immunology Research Centre, McMaster University, Rm 4015 Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4K1, Canada. ashkara@mcmaster.ca.
5
Department of Chemical Engineering, 1280 Main Street West, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4L7, Canada. filipec@mcmaster.ca.

Abstract

Most currently available vaccines, particularly live vaccines, require the cold chain, as vaccine efficacy can be significantly hampered if they are not stored in a temperature range of 2-8 °C at all times. This necessity places a tremendous financial and logistical burden on vaccination programs, particularly in the developing world. The development of thermally stable vaccines can greatly alleviate this problem and, in turn, increase vaccine accessibility worldwide. In this paper, we detail a simple and cost-effective method for stabilizing live vaccines that uses FDA-approved materials. To this end, we dried enveloped DNA (Herpes Simplex Virus type 2) and RNA (Influenza A virus) viral vaccines in a pullulan and trehalose mixture. The results of these studies showed that the live-attenuated HSV-2 vaccine retained its efficacy for at least 2 months of storage at 40 °C, while the inactivated influenza vaccine was able to retain its immunogenicity for at least 3 months of storage at 40 °C. This work presents a simple approach that allows thermo-sensitive vaccines to be converted into thermo-stable vaccines that do not require refrigeration, thus contributing to the improvement of vaccine deployment throughout the world.

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