Gamma-irradiated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate, OZG-38.61.3, confers protection from SARS-CoV-2 challenge in human ACEII-transgenic mice.

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Turan R. D., Tastan C., Dilek Kancagi D., Yurtsever B., Sir Karakus G., Ozer S., ...More

Scientific reports, vol.11, no.1, pp.15799, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/s41598-021-95086-4
  • Journal Name: Scientific reports
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.15799
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


The SARS-CoV-2 virus caused the most severe pandemic around the world, and vaccine development for urgent use became a crucial issue. Inactivated virus formulated vaccines such as Hepatitis A and smallpox proved to be reliable approaches for immunization for prolonged periods. In this study, a gamma-irradiated inactivated virus vaccine does not require an extra purification process, unlike the chemically inactivated vaccines. Hence, the novelty of our vaccine candidate (OZG-38.61.3) is that it is a non-adjuvant added, gamma-irradiated, and intradermally applied inactive viral vaccine. Efficiency and safety dose (either 10(13) or 10(14) viral RNA copy per dose) of OZG-38.61.3 was initially determined in BALB/c mice. This was followed by testing the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the vaccine. Human ACE2-encoding transgenic mice were immunized and then infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus for the challenge test. This study shows that vaccinated mice have lowered SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA copy numbers both in oropharyngeal specimens and in the histological analysis of the lung tissues along with humoral and cellular immune responses, including the neutralizing antibodies similar to those shown in BALB/c mice without substantial toxicity. Subsequently, plans are being made for the commencement of Phase 1 clinical trial of the OZG-38.61.3 vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic.