A linear SARS-CoV-2 DNA vaccine candidate reduces virus shedding in ferrets. Academic Article uri icon


  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has caused more than 760million cases and over 6.8million deaths as of March 2023. Vaccination has been the main strategy used to contain the spread of the virus and to prevent hospitalizations and deaths. Currently, two mRNA-based vaccines and one adenovirus-vectored vaccine have been approved and are available for use in the U.S. population. The versatility, low cost, and rapid production of DNA vaccines provide important advantages over other platforms. Additionally, DNA vaccines efficiently induce both B- and T-cell responses by expressing the antigen within transfected host cells, and the antigen, after being processed into peptides, can associate with MHC class I or II of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) to stimulate different T cell responses. However, the efficiency of DNA vaccination needs to be improved for use in humans. Importantly, in vivo DNA delivery combined with electroporation (EP) has been used successfully in the field of veterinary oncology, resulting in high rates of response after electrochemotherapy. Here, we evaluate the safety, immunogenicity, and protective efficacy of a novel linear SARS-CoV-2 DNA vaccine candidate delivered by intramuscular injection followed by electroporation (Vet-ePorator) in ferrets. The linear SARS-CoV-2 DNA vaccine candidate did not cause unexpected side effects. Additionally, the vaccine elicited neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses on day 42 post-immunization using a low dose of the linear DNA construct in a prime-boost regimen. Most importantly, vaccination significantly reduced shedding of infectious SARS-CoV-2 through oral and nasal secretions in a ferret model.

published proceedings

  • Arch Virol

altmetric score

  • 2.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Martins, M., do Nascimento, G. M., Conforti, A., Noll, J., Impellizeri, J. A., Sanchez, E., ... Diel, D. G.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Martins, Mathias||do Nascimento, Gabriela M||Conforti, Antonella||Noll, Jessica CG||Impellizeri, Joseph A||Sanchez, Elisa||Wagner, Bettina||Lione, Lucia||Salvatori, Erika||Pinto, Eleonora||Compagnone, Mirco||Viscount, Brian||Hayward, James||Shorrock, Clay||Aurisicchio, Luigi||Diel, Diego G

publication date

  • March 2023