Development and applications of viral vectored vaccines to combat zoonotic and emerging public health threats

Sophia M. Vrba, Natalie M. Kirk, Morgan E. Brisse, Yuying Liang, Hinh Ly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Vaccination is arguably the most cost-effective preventative measure against infectious diseases. While vaccines have been successfully developed against certain viruses (e.g., yellow fever virus, polio virus, and human papilloma virus HPV), those against a number of other important public health threats, such as HIV-1, hepatitis C, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), have so far had very limited success. The global pandemic of COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, highlights the urgency of vaccine development against this and other constant threats of zoonotic infection. While some traditional methods of producing vaccines have proven to be successful, new concepts have emerged in recent years to produce more cost-effective and less time-consuming vaccines that rely on viral vectors to deliver the desired immunogens. This review discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different viral vaccine vectors and their general strategies and applications in both human and veterinary medicines. A careful review of these issues is necessary as they can provide important insights into how some of these viral vaccine vectors can induce robust and long-lasting immune responses in order to provide protective efficacy against a variety of infectious disease threats to humans and animals, including those with zoonotic potential to cause global pandemics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number680
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by NIH NIAID grant R01 AI131586, USDA-NIFA-Capacity Funds (Hatch and Animal Health) and the University of Minnesota School of Medicine Academic Investment Research Program (AIRP) and the Office of Academic and Clinical Affairs’ COVID-19 Rapid Response Funds to H.L. and Y.L., USDA-NIFA AFRI grant #2019-05384 and Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Rapid Agricultural Response Fund to H.L., and by pre-doctoral NIH fellowship T32 DA007097 to M.E.B. and post-doctoral NIH fellowship T32 OD010993 to N.M.K.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • COVID-19
  • Disease control
  • Ebola
  • HIV-1
  • HPV
  • Influenza
  • Veterinary vaccines
  • Viral vectored vaccines
  • Wildlife
  • Zoonotic disease


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