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    Opioid use disorders and fatal overdose due to consumption of fentanyl-laced heroin remain a major public health menace in the United States. Vaccination may serve as a promising potential remedy to combat accidental overdose and to mitigate the abuse potential of opioids. We previously reported the heroin and fentanyl monovalent vaccines carrying, respectively, a heroin hapten, 6-AmHap, and a fentanyl hapten, para-AmFenHap, conjugated to tetanus toxoid (TT). Herein, we describe the mixing of these antigens to formulate a bivalent vaccine adjuvanted with liposomes containing monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) adsorbed on aluminum hydroxide. Immunization of mice with the bivalent vaccine resulted in IgG titers of >105 against both haptens. The polyclonal sera bound heroin, 6-acetylmorphine, morphine, and fentanyl with dissociation constants (Kd) of 0.25 to 0.50 nM. Mice were protected from the anti-nociceptive effects of heroin, fentanyl, and heroin +9% (w/w) fentanyl. No cross-reactivity to methadone and buprenorphine was observed in vivo. Naloxone remained efficacious in immunized mice. These results highlighted the potential of combining TT-6-AmHap and TT-para-AmFenHap to yield an efficacious bivalent vaccine that could ablate heroin and fentanyl effects. This vaccine warrants further testing to establish its potential translatability to humans.

    Citation

    Rodell C Barrientos, Connor Whalen, Oscar B Torres, Agnieszka Sulima, Eric W Bow, Essie Komla, Zoltan Beck, Arthur E Jacobson, Kenner C Rice, Gary R Matyas. Bivalent Conjugate Vaccine Induces Dual Immunogenic Response That Attenuates Heroin and Fentanyl Effects in Mice. Bioconjugate chemistry. 2021 Nov 17;32(11):2295-2306

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    PMID: 34076427

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