May 27, 2024

This vaccine eliminates all viruses

A universal vaccine against all RNA viruses – this sounds too good to be true. American researchers are now one step closer to vaccination. You can read how it works here.

Every year, scientists put their heads together to predict which one Influenza viruses It will be most common this upcoming flu season. With a completely new vaccination strategy in place, researchers are now getting to work Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published This may end soon. What's special: Their strategy could eliminate the need for different vaccines because it targets a part of the viral genome common to all virus strains.

RNA interference as a vaccination strategy

Traditionally, vaccines are based on either a live, killed or modified version of the virus. The infected body's immune system recognizes the protein in the virus and then mobilizes an immune response. It creates this reaction T cellsWhich attacks the virus and stops its spread. It also produces B- Memory cellswhich trains the immune system to protect against future attacks.

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Because live vaccines introduce weakened but reproducible virus into the body, people with underdeveloped immune systems, such as infants or immunocompromised people, often experience severe side effects. On the other hand, the new vaccine candidate does not depend on the vaccinated body having this traditional immune response. Instead, the vaccination relies on small RNA molecules that the body produces naturally through a process called RNA interference (RNAi) is known. Viruses usually block this RNAi process. But stopping this viral trick could cause the infected body to dramatically increase its production of small interfering RNAs that target the virus. Here comes the researchers' idea.

“If we make a mutant virus that can't produce the protein to suppress RNAi, we can weaken the virus. It can replicate to some extent, but then it loses the battle against the host's RNAi response. to explain Xue Ding, professor of microbiology at the University of California, Riverside. “The virus weakened in this way could be used as a vaccine to boost our RNAi immune system.” The team tested the effect of their vaccine on mice that lacked B and T cells and gave them a dose of the RNAi vaccine and a lethal dose. Nodamura dose, mosquito-borne rat virus. After just one vaccination, the mice were protected against Nodamura virus for 90 days starting on day 2.

“Viruses can't escape this.”

But what about the obvious problem that viruses are constantly adapting and mutating? Researchers do not believe that viruses are able to circumvent this new vaccination strategy. “Viruses can mutate in areas that traditional vaccines do not target,” says virologist Rong Hai. However, we target their entire genome with thousands of small RNAs. They can't escape this.”

The team expects to apply their strategy to all potential RNA viruses, including influenza. SARS-CoV-2 reach to Dengue fever Can be used. However, they have only tested their vaccine on mice so far, and the road from mice to humans, as we all know, is a long one. But the new strategy is certainly exciting.

Image source: starring coco, Pixels