Dibyendu Kumar Das, Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, IIT Kanpur, and his team are working on developing replication-competent vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The vaccine they are developing is based on ‘attenuated recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus’ (rVSV) vectors expressing the novel coronavirus spike (s) glycoprotein (rVSV-SARS-CoV- 2S).

Vaccines designed on live attenuated recombinant VSV template have been highly effective in animal models and are particularly appealing because they can be administered mucosally.

Additionally, VSV rarely infect humans. Recently, recombinant VSV-based Ebola virus, Marburg virus and Lassa virus vaccine have been developed and tested effective in non-human primate model. The rVSV-ZEBOV-GP vaccine against Ebola had been 97.5 per cent effective at stopping transmission, relative to no vaccination, and approved by WHO in 2019 for vaccination, according to information from IIT Kanpur.