A Novel Vaccine Candidate Against Fungal Infection

Vaccination with a heat-killed mutant strain combined with an adjuvant enhances protection against fungal infections in a murine model, significantly improving survival protection against WT H99 challenge.  Above are a series of graphs that show vaccine efficacy using the combination vaccine in intranasal inhalation, subcutaneous injection, and intramuscular injection models. 

Invention Summary:

Invasive fungal infections kill over 1.5 million people annually with limited treatment options. Cryptococcus neoformans, for example, is a human fungal pathogen that often causes lung and brain infections in immunocompromised patients with a high fatality rate. There is no vaccine available in clinical use to prevent and control fungal infections.


Rutgers scientists have developed a whole-cell vaccine based on heat-killed cells of a novel Cryptococcus mutant. Vaccination with this heat-killed mutant strain conferred full protection against diverse invasive fungal infections, including C. neoformans, C. gattii, and Aspergillus fumigatus, and partial cross-protection against Candida albicans. Protection against C. neoformans was effective even in immunocompromised hosts, including animals lacking CD4+ or CD8+ T cells.  Enhanced protection can be achieved when the vaccine is combined with an adjuvant. Multiple routes of vaccine administration have been developed in animal models. In aggregate, this vaccine candidate may be developed as a pan-fungal vaccine in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts through multiple immunization routes.

Market Applications:

  • Vaccine (whole cell, heat-killed)
  • Vaccine adjuvant to prevent and treat fungal infection



  • Effective in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts
  • Induces cross-protection against multiple common invasive fungal infections
  • Very potent
  • Triggers a robust immune response


Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Intellectual Property & Development Status: Issued patents 10,987,422 & 11,939,402 and multiple pending patents. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration. For any business development and other collaborative partnerships contact:  marketingbd@research.rutgers.edu

Patent Information:
Shemaila Sultana
Assistant Director
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey