Evaluation of genotoxic and cytogenetic effects of saponins and aluminum hydroxide adjuvant on viral vaccine

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Bovine papillomavirus (BPV) is the etiological agent of bovine papillomatosis, infectious disease characterized by the presence of benign tumors that can progress to malignancy. The phylogenetic classification of the PVs is performed based on the sequence homology of the Open Reading Frame L1, the most conserved among different viral serotypes. Given the immunogenicity of saponins, it,s has been used as a candidate as adjuvant use. For this reason, the safety of using saponin as an adjuvant has to be better determined to human or veterinary vaccine use. So, this study aimed to evaluate the mutagenic and genotoxic effect of saponins in comparison with the adjuvant widely used aluminum hydroxide using an isolated and purified L1 protein from BPV as model. In this study, genomic lesions, which after processed without repair can result in mutations, were detected by comet assay. Possible damages to genetic material caused by structural chromosomal changes (clastogenesis), as well as chromosomal losses (aneugenesis) were evaluated by the micronucleus test. Both tests were done on polychromatic erythrocytes and Vero cells. The evaluation of apoptosis and necrosis of treated Vero cells was made by Annexin V / PI staining and flow cytometry. The two vaccine products (L1 + Saponin and L1 + Aluminum Hydroxide) showed damages compatible with the positive control in the comet assay and both slightly elevated the micronucleus levels, in the Cell Viability Assay the results with Aluminum Hydroxide were satisfactory, characterizing Aluminum Hydroxide as a safer adjuvant according to the proposed tests, better than the saponins. Some fractions of the saponin extract separated by High Performance Liquid Chromatography were evaluated against genotoxic activity by comet assay, and their identities were confirmed by similarity to the reference standard by mass spectrometry.
Magnelli RF, Silva Junior PI, Mendonça RZ. Evaluation of genotoxic and cytogenetic effects of saponins and aluminum hydroxide adjuvant on viral vaccine. Journal of Vaccine Research. 2021 Sept;1(1):102. doi:10.18875/jvr.2021.1.102.
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