About this Research Topic
Vaccines are the most efficient way of preventing viral infections. On an individual level, vaccines prevent disease and on a population level, vaccines prevent the spread of a pathogen.
Successful vaccines, such as those developed for polio or yellow fever, confer long-lasting immunity against the pathogen. However, many viruses including influenza, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes simplex virus (HSV) and dengue have long resisted traditional vaccine approaches. Developing effective vaccines that overcome viral immune evasion strategies (e.g. rapid evolution) or host mechanisms that worsen the infection (e.g. antibody-dependent enhancement or ADE) will require new approaches and new technologies.
Over the past years, promising new strategies have been put forward, including:
- structure-guided engineering of viral glycoproteins to improve their antigenic integrity by stabilizing them in the prefusion conformation (e.g. HIV Env SOSIP, stabilized respiratory syncytial virus F, coronavirus 2P spike)
- selective display of conserved epitopes by epitope masking or removal of “distracting” epitopes (e.g. influenza HA, HIV Env, hepatitis C virus)
- increasing the multivalency by protein nanoparticle display (e.g. influenza HA, HIV Env, Epstein-Barr virus gp350)
- enhanced antigen trafficking and targeted delivery to lymph nodes and germinal centers by modulating antigen release kinetics (e.g. self-resolving microneedles, particulate antigens)
- RNA-based delivery of immunogens to elicit both humoral and cellular immunity (e.g. mRNA, self-amplifying RNA)
This Research Topic aims to bring together immunologists, virologists, protein engineers and structural biologists to describe the state-of-the-art next-generation antiviral vaccines and offer perspective into the new directions. We seek all articles including Original Research, Methods, Reviews and Perspectives.
Manuscripts that explore the following topics are particularly encouraged:
• Structure-guided protein immunogen design
• Epitope-focused vaccine design
• Overcoming immune imprinting (original antigenic sin) and pre-existing immunity
• Altering immunodominance landscape
• Subverting antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection
• Targeted antigen delivery to germinal centers
• Particulate/multivalent formulations of immunogens
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.