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'Super Vaccine' To Fight Against SARS-CoV-2 Mutants
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‘Super Vaccine’ To Fight Against SARS-CoV-2 Mutants

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Highlights:
  • The World Health Organization declared four major 'SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern" as of May 31
  • Scientists are developing a new super vaccine of mRNA origin to fight against SARS-CoV-2 mutants
  • The vaccine generated effective antibodies against the B.1.351 variant

A 'Super Vaccine' is being developed by scientists at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. The vaccine is expected to have high efficacy not only against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain but also its deadly variants that are threatening us right now.

As of May 31st, WHO declared four major "variants of concern," but other than that, many other mutants are evolving around the globe. Experts worldwide are working tirelessly to find the ultimate weapon for fighting against these deadly makeovers of SARS-CoV-2. The super-vaccine being developed currently is a big hope as it would have the power to knock out the deadly mutants, thereby preventing any future COVID outbreak.

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David R. Martinez, the lead author of the study, said, "Our findings look bright for the future because they suggest we can design more universal pan-coronavirus vaccines to proactively guard against viruses we know are at risk for emerging in humans." He further added that by using their current strategy, we could even prevent a SARS-CoV-3.

Yet another vaccine of mRNA origin

The approach used in developing this super-vaccine is equivalent to the mRNA vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna. mRNA vaccines train our body to produce proteins that can trigger an immune response against the virus. What makes this project unique is instead of using a single mRNA of the original strain, the team included mRNA from multiple variants of coronaviruses.

Effective against B.1.351 variant

When injected into mice, the super-vaccine generated effective neutralizing antibodies against multiple spike proteins of many coronaviruses, including the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa. The team also evaluated the efficiency of this vaccine against other coronaviruses belonging to the 2B group and the ones which are likely to transmit from animals to humans.

"The vaccine has the potential to prevent outbreaks when used as a variant is detected," said Ralph Baric, co-author and professor of immunology and microbiology at the UNC.
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The study was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the National Institutes of Health and funded by the North Carolina General Assembly.

References:
  1. Vaccines that can protect against many coronaviruses could prevent another pandemic - (https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/04/vaccines-can-protect-against-many-coronaviruses-could-prevent-another-pandemic)
  2. New Variants of Coronavirus: What You Should Know - (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/a-new-strain-of-coronavirus-what-you-should-know)


Source: Medindia

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