[Call for applications] Design and production, in yeast, of capsid particles of the Bluetongue virus as an alternative to the vaccine based on the live attenuated virus

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Project title: Design and production, in yeast, of Bluetongue virus capsid particles as an alternative to the live attenuated virus vaccine


The project will be carried out at the Euromed University of Fez (UEMF)
Euromed Faculty of Pharmacy and Biomedtech Engineering School
Project manager: Professor Ismaïl Moukadiri


Project description: Bluetongue is a viral disease of domestic and wild ruminants, transmitted by small biting insects belonging to certain species of the Culicoides genus.
  The causative agent is a virus of the Reoviridae family, of the orbivirus genus. To date, more than 27 distinct serotypes have been identified worldwide. The disease causes, mainly in sheep, thrombo-hemorrhagic fevers. The virus and its serology are well known and vaccination helps prevent the disease. However, current vaccines are not without problems and limitations. Live attenuated vaccines (MLV) are very effective but can cause serious infection in a percentage of vaccinated sheep. Furthermore, the attenuated strain can adapt to Culicoides species present in an endemic region and, finally, the possibility of reassortment and inter-exchange of some of the 10 RNA segments constituting the BTV genome with natural strains cannot be ruled out. Furthermore, inactivated vaccines are expensive to produce and require at least two doses with a high concentration of antigens. As a result, there are broad possibilities for developing recombinant vaccines, capable of combining several serotypes and with lower production costs.

In this context, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used to produce recombinant antigens which have been successfully applied as vaccines in humans, as is the case with the surface antigen of the hepatitis virus. B. The yeast Pir4 expression system we developed has been successfully used to express antigens and enzymes in S. cerevisiae. Based on this experience, we propose here to:

1. Produce structural viral particles from the Bluetongue virus disseminated in the Mediterranean basin.
These antigens will be expressed either as purified proteins or targeted to the surface of yeast cells 2. Evaluate the immunogenicity of the antigens generated and determine their safety and effectiveness
3. Produce Bluetongue vaccines using pilot ladder

Candidate profile: Eligible candidates must have a master's degree in the field of biotechnology, molecular biology or equivalent.

Application file: Curriculum vitae, cover letter, end-of-studies project, diplomas and transcripts, other documents deemed relevant.

Working conditions: The candidate will carry out full-time research work at the Euromed University of Fez


Duration of the contract: 3 years
Net amount of the scholarship: 5,600.00 MAD / month
Date of incorporation: Immediate

File to be sent to i.moukadiri@ueuromed.org before January 25, 2023