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COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease scientists are trying to find a vaccine for. There are three others



COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease scientists are trying to find a vaccine for.  There are three others

Credit: Shutterstock

Currently, more than 28 million people worldwide have COVID-19 contracts, 900,000 people I’m dead.

Research groups around the world To protect against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

It’s not surprising that all eyes are paying attention to this vaccine race, but COVID-19 is not the only disease scientists are currently trying to find a vaccine for.

Let’s look at the other three.

Big three

We consider malaria, tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS to be the “three big” .. Together they are about responsible 2.7 million deaths annually In the world. They have a biased impact on low and middle income countries.

Deaths from these three illnesses Almost double Over the next year as a result of medical turmoil in the face of COVID-19.

This is a clear example of the indirect effects of uncontrolled infections. It also reminds us of the importance of vaccine research for many other infectious parasites, viruses and bacteria that can cause illness and death.

Malaria: Parasite

malaria It is a parasitic disease that is transmitted by being bitten by an infected mosquito. Common symptoms are like the flu: fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue. Without prompt treatment, malaria Severe illness and death..

In 2018 Nearly half The world’s population was at risk of malaria. Approximately 228 million cases and 405,000 deaths occurred, mainly in children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa.

Antimalaria drugs are routinely used to treat and prevent malaria infections. But Plasmodium falciparum, The most deadly malaria parasite that can infect humans Developed resistance For all drugs currently used to treat and prevent malaria. Therefore, there is an urgent need for an effective vaccine.

COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease scientists are trying to find a vaccine for.  There are three others

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease. Credit: Shutterstock

The development of malaria vaccines is complicated by the diverse forms of parasites in human hosts, or by the stages of their life cycle. The immune response required to kill the parasite varies between these different stages. Therefore, malaria vaccine candidates usually target only one stage of the parasite.

UK multinational pharmaceutical company GSK acquires world’s first license Malaria vaccine, Mosquirix. It targets the stage where the parasite is present when the mosquito injects it.

That’s it Vaccine candidates successfully complete Phase 3 trials, so Mosquirix Moderate effect (Less than 40%) Fall rapidly After the last dose. Therefore, we need a more effective vaccine that can induce long-term immunity.

There is 20 other malaria vaccine candidates In advanced preclinical or clinical evaluation.

These front lines are Sanaria All sporozoite vaccine (PfSPZ). It also targets the parasite stage that mosquitoes inject. It is currently being evaluated for effectiveness in Africa.

Tuberculosis: bacteria

World wide, tuberculosis It is the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent. It is caused by bacteria that spread from person to person through the air and mainly affect the lungs.

Tuberculosis 1.5 million deaths About a quarter of the world’s population has potential tuberculosis, which is asymptomatic and non-infectious. However, 5-15% of these people develop active infections.

In general, tuberculosis can be effectively treated with antibiotics. However, the emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is a major cause of death and a serious public health concern.

We have one licensed vaccine for tuberculosis. BCG vaccine First used in 1921 And usually given to babies in the country High prevalence of tuberculosis.. However, the degree and duration of protection provided by this vaccine is not sufficient to control the disease.

Scientists are working on the development of preventive vaccines (to prevent infection from the beginning) and post-exposure vaccines (to prevent the progression of the disease in patients with latent tuberculosis).

At least 14 Vaccine candidates In clinical trialsPromising results suggest that the disease may be better controlled in the coming years.

COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease scientists are trying to find a vaccine for.  There are three others

There is no vaccine against HIV / AIDS yet. Credit: Shutterstock

HIV / AIDS: Virus

Since the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) In the 1980s, the disease killed 33 million people. 770,000 In 2019, approximately 38 million people worldwide will be infected with HIV / AIDS.

Currently, there are no cures or protective vaccines. Antiviral therapy can effectively control HIV, but about 20% (7.6 million) Of the HIV-infected patients, they are inaccessible.

Researchers Defensive vaccine Against HIV. The main focus is the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies (antibodies that can attack a variety of HIV strains) in HIV-infected patients.

In particular, researchers identifying and developing COVID-19 therapies are using important expertise from HIV vaccine development.

For example, details of the structure of the spike protein of SAR-CoV-2 Target Identify neutralizing antibodies widely for and from the COVID-19 vaccine Convalescent plasma It is similar to the strategy used by scientists working on HIV as a potential treatment.

Time and commitment

Beyond COVID-19 and the Big 3, there are many conditions that scientists are working on to develop vaccines.

The current pandemic emphasizes the need for governments, NGOs and philanthropists to support this task. Wider.

A type of research In many cases, it can accelerate the development of treatments for others. This is seen in the quest for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ultimately, COVID-19 raised public awareness of the types of scientific challenges researchers face every day. There are no silver bullets or shortcuts to developing safe and effective vaccines.

First clinical trial with genetically modified malaria vaccine completed

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