Harnessing Preexisting Influenza Virus Specific Immunity Increases Antibody Responses Against SARS-CoV-2

Tech ID: 33279 / UC Case 2023-985-0


While the current vaccine strategies against SARS-CoV-2 have been effective at saving lives and mitigating severe disease, it takes weeks and multiple vaccination doses to achieve favorable antibody responses. These high levels of antibodies are necessary for protection against disease. There is an unmet need to optimize the current vaccines to better protect people after a single vaccine dose. 

Brief Description

Professor Rong Hai’s lab from the University of California, Riverside has created a new fusion protein that may be developed as a new vaccine to induce quick immune responses to protect people against SARS-CoV-2 infection and other coronavirus infections. The faster antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 is achieved with a fusion protein that combines the nucleoprotein (NP) of influenza virus and the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. This new fusion protein is advantageous over current technology since it takes advantage of a patient’s preexisting immunity to the influenza virus nucleoprotein (NP) to elicit a faster protective antibody response after a single vaccine dose.



Fig 1: RBD specific IgG antibody responses induced by the UCR vaccination with sera collected at Day 14 post vaccination.  Unlike mice vaccinated with the NP/RBD fusion protein, mice infected with PR8 influenza virus and then vaccinated with PBS (black) or mice PBS infected and then PBS vaccinated (blue) did not express RBD neutralizing antibodies. Mice with preexisting immunity to PR8 had higher RBD specific antibody responses after NP/RBD vaccination (green) compared to mice that did not have preexisting immunity to PR8 (red).


A new vaccine for use to potentially protect against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus diseases. 

Patent Status

Patent Pending


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Other Information


SARS-CoV-2, vaccine, antibody, nucleoprotein, influenza, COVID, COVID-19, RBD, fusion protein

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