new vaccine works against future corona variants

new vaccine works against future corona variants
new vaccine works against future corona variants

In any case, we are better prepared for the next coronavirus outbreak than in 2019. Researchers have developed a new vaccine based on nanotechnology that offers protection in mice against a large number of corona variants, even versions of the virus that do not yet exist.

Virologists from Cambridge and Oxford call the new approach ‘proactive vaccinology’. This involves developing a vaccine to combat a virus that has not yet emerged or mutated. The new vaccine trains the body’s immune system so that it can recognize certain pieces of eight different coronaviruses. This includes SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2, and several other variants currently circulating in bat colonies. There is a danger that they will spread to humans and cause a pandemic.

The new nanovaccine is so effective because the virus parts that the vaccine targets occur in many different corona strains. Training the immune system to attack these parts makes it resistant to a variety of other coronaviruses, including variants that have not yet been identified. For example, the new vaccine does not contain traces of the SARS-CoV-1 virus, which caused the SARS outbreak in 2003, but it does induce an immune response against that type of coronavirus.

“We are working hard to develop a vaccine that protects us against the next corona pandemic. And we are doing our best to have the final product completely ready and tested before the pandemic has even started,” explains lead researcher Rory Hills from Cambridge. “We have therefore created a vaccine that works against a wide range of coronaviruses, including variants we have never heard of before.”

One step ahead
“We don’t have to wait for new coronaviruses to emerge. We know so much about the viruses and the body’s different immune responses that we can now start developing vaccines against unknown coronaviruses,” says Cambridge pharmacology professor Mark Howarth. “Scientists did a great job producing a highly effective corona vaccine under immense time pressure during the last pandemic, but unfortunately this came too late for many people. The world was experiencing a huge crisis resulting in a huge number of deaths. We need to figure out how to do even better in the future, and an important part of that is to start building the vaccines in advance. There is no time to lose.”

The so-called Quartet Nanocagevaccine consists of nanoparticles full of proteins. These are microscopic protein balls held together by incredibly strong molecular bonds. Chains of different viral antigens are attached to these nanoparticles using a revolutionary ‘protein superglue’. These chains contain multiple antigens, which train the immune system to recognize and attack specific virus particles. These particles are part of a large number of coronaviruses.

Simple in design
The researchers have managed to induce a broad immune response with the new vaccine, even in mice that had already been made immune to the corona variant SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine is also much simpler in design than other broadly protective vaccines currently in development. The researchers believe that this will significantly accelerate the route to human clinical trials and an active end product. And even better: the underlying technology can also be used in the development of vaccines against all kinds of other pathogens.

All-in-one vaccine
The scientists have therefore developed a new all-in-one vaccine against corona. Conventional vaccines contain a single antigen to train the immune system and can therefore only target one specific virus variant. As a rule, this provides no or insufficient protection against other existing corona variants or against pathogens that suddenly appear out of nowhere and cause many victims. The new vaccine does work.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: vaccine works future corona variants


PREV New tool calculates protein balance in meals
NEXT People who struggle with anxiety and depression are more likely to smoke