DEVELOPMENT OF A VACCINE FOR LYME DISEASE USING THE NUCLEOSIDE-MODIFIED mRNA-LNP PLATFORM
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne infectious disease in the United States, in part because a vaccine against it is not currently available for humans. We propose utilizing the lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated nucleoside-modified mRNA (mRNA-LNP) platform to generate a Lyme disease vaccine like the successful clinical vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. Of the antigens expressed by Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, outer surface protein A (OspA) is the most promising candidate for vaccine development. We have designed and synthesized an OspA-encoding mRNA-LNP vaccine and compared its immunogenicity and protective efficacy to an alum-adjuvanted OspA protein subunit vaccine. OspA mRNA-LNP induced superior humoral and cell-mediated immune responses in mice after a single immunization. These potent immune responses resulted in protection against bacterial infection. Our study demonstrates that highly efficient mRNA vaccines can be developed against bacterial targets.