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- 담당교수Inhwan Hwang
The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has spurred rapid development of vaccines as part of the public health response. However, the general strategy used to construct recombinant trimeric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S) proteins in mammalian cells is not completely adaptive to molecular farming. Therefore, we generated several constructs of recombinant S proteins for high expression in Nicotiana benthamiana. Intramuscular injection of N. benthamiana-expressed Sct vaccine (NSct Vac) into Balb/c mice elicited both humoral and cellular immune responses, and booster doses increased neutralizing antibody titres. In human angiotensin-converting enzyme knock-in mice, two doses of NSct Vac induced anti-S and neutralizing antibodies, which cross-neutralized Alpha, Beta, Delta and Omicron variants. Survival rates after lethal challenge with SARS-CoV-2 were up to 80%, without significant body weight loss, and viral titres in lung tissue fell rapidly, with no infectious virus detectable at 7-day post-infection. Thus, plant-derived NSct Vac could be a candidate COVID-19 vaccine.