Lecture 'The innate immune recognition of mRNA vaccines and other synthetically-modified RNA'

For whom
Alumni , Employees , Students
19-11-2021 from 11:30 to 13:00
UGent-VIB-onderzoeksgebouw, Technologiepark 71, 9052 Zwijnaarde
VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research

Molecular mechanisms of innate immune recognition of neglected pathogens and their potential application to vaccination approaches will be discussed.

Eva Bartok is Unit Head at the Experimental Immunology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp. Vaccination with synthetically generated and modified mRNA is a promising approach for the development of antigen-specific anti-viral and anti-tumor immunity. Such modifications serve to both reduce the recognition of the mRNA molecule by the innate immune system and increase antigen translation. This talk will present data on how the mRNA molecules utilized in the mRNA-1273 (Moderna) and the BNT162b2 (BioNTech) SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations, as well as RNA with similar modifications, activate nucleic acid receptors of the innate immune system. Moreover, our data indicate that this residual nucleic acid sensing is not deleterious to vaccine activity but rather essential to the development of a full immune response. Thus, successful mRNA vaccination may critically require controlled anti-viral receptor activation, an important consideration for future mRNA vaccination approaches.