Design and Optimization of RSV F for Vaccination
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common infection that affects most infants by the age of two, as well as a large percentage of the elderly population. Currently, the majority of prevention lies in the hands of the caretakers: wash hands frequently, avoid contact if sick or have babies wear masks, keep young children away from babies, avoid crowds during outbreaks. As these methods are not always feasible, this project aims to develop a vaccine for RSV by focusing on the fusion (F) glycoprotein. This protein is necessary for the virus to infect, as it assists the virus in fusing to the plasma membrane of the target cell, assisting in the injection of viral RNA into target cells and in spreading the virus to other cells. This work aims to manufacture a recombinant F protein, express high quantities of it, and test its immunogenicity in mice. The virus was tested in both eukaryotic and baculovirus cell lines to determine which provided the most optimum immunological response. Additionally, mitochondrial adjuvants (2-D-glucose) were injected in mice to determine their antigenic responses. This step has prepared for future work in testing the response of the F protein in mice.