Applying lessons learned from nanomedicines to understand rare hypersensitivity reactions to mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines

Janos Szebeni, Gert Storm, Julia Y. Ljubimova, Mariana Castells, Elizabeth J. Phillips, Keren Turjeman, Yechezkel Barenholz, Daan J.A. Crommelin, Marina A. Dobrovolskaia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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After over a billion of vaccinations with messenger RNA-lipid nanoparticle (mRNA-LNP) based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, anaphylaxis and other manifestations of hypersensitivity can be considered as very rare adverse events. Although current recommendations include avoiding a second dose in those with first-dose anaphylaxis, the underlying mechanisms are unknown; therefore, the risk of a future reaction cannot be predicted. Given how important new mRNA constructs will be to address the emergence of new viral variants and viruses, there is an urgent need for clinical approaches that would allow a safe repeated immunization of high-risk individuals and for reliable predictive tools of adverse reactions to mRNA vaccines. In many aspects, anaphylaxis symptoms experienced by the affected vaccine recipients resemble those of infusion reactions to nanomedicines. Here we share lessons learned over a decade of nanomedicine research and discuss the current knowledge about several factors that individually or collectively contribute to infusion reactions to nanomedicines. We aim to use this knowledge to inform the SARS-CoV-2 lipid-nanoparticle-based mRNA vaccine field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-346
Number of pages10
JournalNature nanotechnology
Issue number4
Early online date7 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


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