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Viral Vaccine Development

Viral Vaccine Development

Vaccines refer to biological products made from various pathogenic microorganisms that can be used to prevent diseases. Viral vaccines are autoimmune preparations used to prevent viral diseases and are mainly made by methods such as artificial attenuation, inactivation or genetic recombination technology.

Viral vaccine development

Examples of Viruses

Virus Genus, Family Host
Human Viruses SARS coronavirus 2 Betacoronavirus, Coronaviridae Human, bats
MERS coronavirus Betacoronavirus, Coronaviridae Human, tomb bat
Human papillomavirus Alphapapillomavirus, Papillomaviridae Human
Hepatitis B virus Orthohepadnavirus, Hepadnaviridae Human, chimpanzees
Hepatitis C virus Hepacivirus, Flaviviridae Human
Hepatitis E virus Hepevirus, Hepadnaviridae. Human, pig, monkeys, some rodents, chicken
Human immunodeficiency virus Lentivirus, Retroviridae Human
Influenza A virus Influenzavirus A, Orthomyxoviridae Human, birds, pigs
Influenza B virus Influenzavirus B, Orthomyxoviridae Human
Influenza C virus Influenzavirus C, Orthomyxoviridae Human
Ebolavirus Ebolavirus, Filoviridae Human, monkeys, bats
Dengue virus Flavivirus, Flaviviridae Human, mosquitoes
Japanese encephalitis virus Flavivirus, Flaviviridae Human, horses, birds, mosquitoes
Human respiratory syncytial virus Orthopneumovirus, Pneumoviridae Human
Other Viruses Foot-and-mouth disease virus Aphthovirus, Picornaviridae Artiodactyl animals such as cows, sheep, and boars
Canine parvovirus Protoparvovirus, Parvoviridae Canine
Transmissible gastroenteritis virus Alphacoronavirus, Coronaviridae Pig

Classification of Viral Vaccines

According to traditional and customary viral vaccines, it can be divided into live attenuated vaccines, inactivated vaccines, recombinant subunit vaccine, DNA vaccines, and VLP vaccines.

  • Live Attenuated Vaccine
    Live attenuated vaccines are prepared by in vitro culture to attenuate viral virulence, similar to natural infection, but not pathogenic and capable of triggering a protective immune response. The main disadvantage of attenuated vaccines is that reversal of virulence after secondary mutations can lead to disease development and the need for robust cooling systems.

Live attenuated vaccineLive attenuated vaccine. (K B M, et al., 2022)

  • Inactivated Vaccine
    Inactivation of vaccines is usually accomplished using heat or chemicals such as formaldehyde or radiation. Compared with live vaccines, the advantages of inactivated vaccines are that they are more stable and safer, do not require refrigeration facilities, and do not need to be transferred in a freeze-dried form, which is more economical and easier to obtain.

Inactivated vaccine.Inactivated vaccine. (K B M, et al., 2022)

  • Recombinant Subunit Vaccine
    Great progress has been made in biotechnology, and only the most important and potential antigenic subunits of the virus can be used for the study of recombinant vaccines.

Recombinant subunit vaccine.Recombinant subunit vaccine. (K B M, et al., 2022)

  • DNA Vaccine
    One of the greatest achievements of vaccine technology is the development of DNA vaccine, which is considered as the third-generation vaccine. It encodes almost all genes of all-important antigens of microorganisms. It is relatively simple and has low planning and development costs.

Development of DNA vaccine.Development of DNA vaccine. (K B M, et al., 2022)

  • VLP Vaccine
    Virus-like particles (VLPs) are self-assembled from viral antigens and do not have a viral genome. Because the size, shape and the repetitive array of immunogenic epitopes displayed on the VLP surface are similar to those of natural viruses, which are beneficial to be absorbed by dendritic cells (DCs), VLPs, like natural viruses, can induce the body to produce an effective cellular immune response without adjuvant and humoral immune response. In addition, due to the lack of viral nucleic acid, the safety is also higher than that of attenuated or inactivated vaccines.

At present, VLP containing 110 pathogenic proteins from 35 pathogenic families, such as coronaviruses, HPV, HCV, Ebola virus, etc.

VLPs are recognized by the immune system.VLPs are recognized by the immune system. (Yan D, et al., 2015)

Plant-produced VLPs as Vaccine Candidates

Platforms currently used to construct VLPs include bacteria, yeast, insects, mammalian cell lines, and plants. Each platform has its unique strengths and limitations, and the choice of platform depends on the structure and function of the VLPs produced. Furthermore, all cell culture-based systems for producing VLPs require the construction of expensive facilities for large-scale production. Plants can be grown on a large scale in greenhouses or bioreactors with low production costs, low risk of introducing foreign human pathogens, and the ability to undergo post-translational modifications.

Schematic review of VLPs expression in plants.Schematic review of VLPs expression in plants. (Hemmati F, et al., 2012)

How We Can Help

CD BioSciences has the expertise to help our clients produce vaccines through the application of VLPs built on plant platforms. As a leading custom service provider, CD BioSciences excels in tailoring services to clients' needs and circumstances. Please contact us if you are interested.

Quote and Ordering

Quote and Ordering


  1. K B M.; et al., Vaccine and vaccination as a part of human life: In view of COVID-19. Biotechnol J. 2022, 17:1-20.
  2. Hemmati F.; et al., Plant-derived VLP: a worthy platform to produce vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. Biotechnol Lett. 2022, 44:45-57.
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