Comirnaty (BNT162b2) and Spikevax (mRNA-1273) COVID-19 vaccines encode a full-length SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein. To evaluate whether the S-protein expressed following treatment with the two vaccines differs in the real-world context, two cell lines were treated for 24 h with two concentrations of each vaccine, and the expression of the S-protein was evaluated using flow cytometry and ELISA. Vaccines were obtained from three vaccination centers in Perugia (Italy) that provided us with residual vaccines present in vials after administration. Interestingly, the S-protein was detected not only on the cell membrane but also in the supernatant. The expression was dose-dependent only in Spikevax-treated cells. Furthermore, the S-protein expression levels in both cells and supernatant were much higher in Spikewax-than in Comirnaty-treated cells. Differences in S-protein expression levels following vaccine treatment may be attributed to variations in the efficacy of lipid nanoparticles, differences in mRNA translation rates and/or loss of some lipid nanoparticles' properties and mRNA integrity during transport, storage, or dilution, and may contribute to explaining the slight differences in the efficacy and safety observed between the Comirnaty and Spikevax vaccines.
Cari, Luigi;Naghavi Alhosseini, Mahdieh;Mencacci, Antonella;Migliorati, Graziella;Nocentini, Giuseppe
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