US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — American doctors conducted the first preclinical trials of a new type of classical coronavirus vaccine. She successfully forced laboratory mice to produce antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Test results published by the scientific journal EBioMedicine.
“We already had experience working with SARS SARS viruses and Middle Eastern fever MERS. Both of these pathogens are relatives of SARS-CoV-2, and their study showed that one of the envelope proteins, S-protein, is important for the formation of an immune response. We can say that we knew in advance how to deal with the new virus, “commented Andrea Gambotto, associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh (USA) and one of the authors of the study.
Over the past month, scientists from many countries have announced the start of trials of various types of new type of coronavirus vaccines. Some of them are tested in animal experiments, while others are tested on volunteers. Most of these drugs are based on virus RNA fragments that cause human cells to synthesize large amounts of SARS-CoV-2 proteins.
As Gambotto notes, this is a relatively new approach, the effectiveness of which is not yet fully understood. Therefore, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh went on a more laborious, but already proven methodology. They developed a vaccine based on ready-made fragments of the S-protein of the virus, which it uses to get into human lung cells.
For its production, scientists have grown a special culture of cells that produced huge amounts of S-protein, and also created a special system for their input into the body – a patch covered with many nano-needles. These structures can penetrate the skin to the optimum depth, dissolve and release the vaccine, causing the immune system to interact with it.
The first step towards a vaccine
Scientists tested the work of these plasters on several laboratory mice. Two weeks after the vaccine was injected into the skin, the immunity of the mice began to produce a large number of antibodies, which only join the viral particles and neutralize them.
Scientists emphasize that while they did not try to infect rodents with a real coronavirus. However, their past experiments with a similar MERS vaccine indicate that such a procedure should protect animals from SARS-CoV-2 attacks throughout the year.
In the near future, Gambotto and her colleagues plan to begin experiments of this kind. Scientists also want to begin the first phase of clinical trials on volunteers, if they get permission from the US government. These measures, scientists hope, will create the first practical vaccine in a few months, and not a year and a half, as is usually the case.
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The article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by Ordo News staff in our US newsroom press.