1.Project Description Section
1.1 Project Summary.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone; the spread of the virus has caused a steep increase in fatalities worldwide as well as hardships in all aspects of society. The development of vaccines capable of protecting against the virus has shown the capability of the scientific community; however, the differing production, storage, and distribution capacities have limited the reach of vaccines in certain regions. Adding these factors to the rapid transmission of the pathogen and the constant appearance of coronavirus variants makes controlling the spread a much more difficult task for these regions.
In developing countries especially, such conditions have been the bottleneck for vaccine accessibility. In Latin America, for example, access to vaccines is subject to additional problems caused by a lack of adequate infrastructure for storage and distribution of doses within the territories of each state. Therefore, alternatives capable of meeting the local needs of this region must be proposed.
Our proposal addresses our national reality by considering all these elements, evaluating the vaccine design strategy, and adjusting to the prevailing conditions. Therefore, our research's objective consists of the design of a phagemid as a peptide display array for the development of neutralizing antibodies (Phagemid display as Peptide Array for neutralizing Antibodies, P(d)PANA). This proposal also considers efficiency parameters for the immune system response as well as biosafety parameters for the general public. One point to highlight is the Phage Display tool, which, although known within the field of molecular biology, its application as a means of vaccination against COVID-19 is just being evaluated, but with encouraging results (Kang et al, 2006; Staquicini et al, 2021)
P(d)PANA as a molecular biology technique is based on a bioinformatics approach in which the regions of the coronavirus spike protein with the highest antigenic potential are selected. This information allows the generation of recombinant proteins on the M13 phage envelope as a means of display. Given that the M13 phage presents an easy genetic edition with high thermostability (González-Cansino et al, 2019), the proposed vaccine design aims to solve the aforementioned problems. Thus, this method turns out to be one of the most ideal for mass production and storage at a low cost and with one of the best vaccination efficiencies for emerging economies in Latin America and the rest of the world.
1.2 Promotional Video.
1.3 Project Presentation Video.
1.4 Education and Communication Infographic.
1.5 Team and Attributions.