Over recent decades, vaccines, which are by far the most effective preventative measure against infectious diseases, have contributed decisively to the reduction of illnesses and even the eradication of pathogens. Vaccines based on attenuated viruses, in particular, are highly effective since they induce both aspects of the immune response – on the one hand, the humoral aspect through the production of pathogen-specific antibodies and, on the other hand, the cellular aspects through the T cell-mediated immune response.
The Corona pandemic is highlighting the fundamental importance of the fast development of effective vaccines for new pathogens. In the framework of the CoroVacc project, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Interface Engineering and Biotechnology IGB and from the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI are working to develop a Sars-CoV-2-specific vaccine virus based on an established platform vector (herpes virus derivative). The developed platform technology can quickly adapt the herpes virus vectors on a modular basis. As a result, new infectious agents emerging in future can be quickly addressed. The high genomic capacity of the viral vector (permitting the use of a combination of several pathogens or antigens as a vaccine) is one of its special features.