Suita, Japan — Scientists have recently developed a vaccine that can end the pandemic caused by diseases that occur in animals, new research reveals. In the experiment, the vaccine blocked five coronaviruses, including COVID-19.
COVID has already killed about 5 million people worldwide. Health officials warn that viruses that fly from animals to humans are becoming more and more common. Recent health crises include monkey-derived bird flu, swine flu, and Ebola. Meanwhile, another coronavirus strain, MERS, is associated with camels. Outbreaks among people tend to result from wildlife exploitation, such as intense battery farming and the sale of food meat.
“Given that previous coronavirus outbreaks such as SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV occurred because the zoonotic coronavirus crossed the species barrier, similar viruses will emerge in the future. The potential poses a serious threat to the world’s public health. Effective vaccine About the current virus, “said Professor Tomohiro Kurosaki of Osaka University, the lead author of the research. Media release.
One of the theories COVID-19 is surrounded by bats Jumped to another animal Before reaching humans. It invades human cells by binding to ACE2 cell surface receptors using pesplomers. The study found that the virus was composed of two parts. A “core” that is very similar to all coronaviruses and a more specific “head”.
Block COVID’s ability to attack cells
The Japanese team genetically engineered the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (the virus that causes COVID). Covering the head with additional sugar molecules prevented it from catching on the ACE2 protein in human cells, which leads to infection.
Vaccinated mice dramatically increased antibody production against the unshielded core, which is the central part of the viral protein. They blocked SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 and caused the outbreak of SARS in 2002. According to researchers, three similar coronaviruses from bats and pangolins also hit the “stone wall.”
Antibodies that recognize the head of this virus can block SARS-CoV-2 from entering cells, but have little protection against other coronaviruses. Antibodies that identify the core, on the other hand, can prevent the invasion of various coronaviruses into human cells.
Researchers say the new strategy will fuel antibodies that neutralize multiple coronaviruses, Virus spike protein It tends to produce only antibodies to the head.
“It is possible to produce antibodies that neutralize widely, but with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Current vaccine It is unlikely to provide protection against the emergence of new SARS-related viruses, “explains Professor Kurosaki.
This study opens the door to next-generation vaccines that reduce the risk of pandemics. The research team expects more work that can be successfully translated into humans.
The survey results will be displayed in Experimental Medical Journal..
South West News Service writer Mark Waghorn contributed to this report.
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