Innovative non-thermal/chemical process to generated whole attenuated virus with native-like antigen profile to produce improved vaccines

  1. Over the last years, the use of high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) for nonthermal virus inactivation is being increasingly applied for virus inactivation. Indeed, the inactivation of viral populations by HHP is a promising methodology for vaccine development due to the maintenance of crucial immunological sites of the viral structure. Because of this there is the possibility of vaccine improvement, thus increasing the usefulness of the inactivated virus to be used in vaccine development.
    1. HHP treated virus can induce a strong and direct immune response without the introduction of new/additional chemicals in the process (Silva et al. 2015).
  1. According with Dumard et al. (2013), whole inactivated vaccines (containing the infectious agent in an inactivated form) allows to obtain an improved immunogenicity when compared to split and subunit (parts of the infection agent) vaccines. High pressure allows inactivating viral particles without damaging the majority of the structures. Consequently, the production of antibodies with high specificity by a host can be achieved with high precision, which increases the possibility of such antibodies to bind with specific structures of the attenuated virus.
  2. The same group, Dumard et al. (2013) evaluated the effects of HHP inactivation of human influenza virus X-31 (at 289.6 MPa for 3-12h at 25 ºC). After the inactivated viral cocktail was afterwards analysed for glycoprotein activity and fusogenic activity (ability of the virus to fuse with the host). The infectious activity ceased after 3 hours under pressure, with the mice being protected from infection after being vaccinated with the pressurized viral cocktail. Results also revealed full viral inactivation with overall preservation of viral structure and maintenance of fusogenic activity, thereby conferring protection against infection. A strong response consisting of serum immunoglobulin IgG1, IgG2a, and serum and mucosal IgA was also detected after vaccination. This suggests that applying hydrostatic pressure may be an effective method for developing new vaccines against influenza A as well as other viruses.
  3. Dumard et al. (2017) studied the effects of HHP (289 MPa for 180 min, between 25 and 85 ºC) on human and avian influenza virus. The results clearly showed inactivation of both viruses, allowing to keep the virus structure, with the authors stated to be vital for the development of a vaccine. Despite some structural changes that occurred on viral proteins while under pressure, these changes were reversible upon pressure relief.
  4. Considering that Coronavirus (CoVID-19), responsible for acute respiratory disease (SARS-COV-2) and considering the aforementioned studies regarding the inactivation of virus for vaccine production and immune response enhancement, it could be of vital interest to evaluate the effects of HHP on CoVid-19 as a possible attempt to produce a vaccine or feasible treatment for SARS-COV-2.
    1. Because of this, I would like to ask for a possible collaboration with a virus replication lab and vaccine development institute to test the aforementioned hypothesis, which is strongly supported by the literature, taking advantage of the high pressure equipment available at the University of Aveiro. University of Aveiro equiments  portfolio is available in: (

If you are available to collaborate with us, please do not hesitate to contact me by email ( or phone/WhatsApp: 963621653.

Relevant Links


Vaccines, pressure, attenuated virus

Associated Users


LAQV-REQUIMTE, Dep. of Chemistry, University of Aveiro


LAQV-REQUIMTE, Universidade de Aveiro

Looking for a partner able to replicate Covid-19 virus to be attenuated by the novel process and another partner to produce and test the vaccine in vitro (mammalian cells and other if considered more adequate/pertinent)


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