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The potential of gold nanoparticles for coronavirus diagnosis, treatment and prophylaxis

L.A. Dykman, S.A. Staroverov, A.S. Fomin, K.P. Gabalov

Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Plants and Microorganisms,
Russian Academy of Sciences, Saratov, Russia


Nanotechnology is actively used for diagnosis, treatment and prophylaxis against coronaviruses (Nikaeen et al., 2020; Nasrollahzadeh et al., 2020; Uskoković, 2020; Alphandéry, 2020; Reina et al., 2020; Ellah et al., 2020; Muhammad et al., 2020). To date, methods for producing antibodies and prototypes of vaccines for four types of coronaviruses have been developed. These are: transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus (Staroverov et al., 2011, 2019), avian coronavirus (Chen et al., 2016), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (Sekimukai et al., 2020), and SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (Chen et al., 2020).
We used spherical gold nanoparticles (average diameter, 15 nm) as a platform for the antigen for swine transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus (TGEV). Animals were immunized with transmissible gastroenteritis virus conjugated with gold nanoparticles. The resultant antibodies had a higher titer than antibodies produced in response to native virus (1:15018 vs. 1:6826). Immunization with the antigen-colloidal gold complex led to a significant increase of the peritoneal macrophages respiratory activity and of plasma IFN-γ, IL-1β, and IL-6 level in immunized animals. These results can be used to develop vaccines against this infection by employing TGEV antigen coupled to gold nanoparticles as a carrier.
Gold nanoparticles can be used as adjuvants to increase the effectiveness of vaccines by stimulating antigen-presenting cells and ensuring controlled antigen release. Thus, gold nanoparticles, which have adjuvant properties, can be an excellent tool in the design of effective vaccines against infectious diseases.
This work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project no. 19-14-00077).


L.A. Dykman
Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Plants and Microorganisms, Russian Academy of Sciences


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