Will THIS Covid vaccine mean an end to the common cold?


Will THIS Covid vaccine mean an end to the common cold? Scientists develop a $1 shot that may protect people against other coronaviruses

  • Researchers at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech used a platform that places a piece of synthesized viral DNA into genetically altered E. coli
  • The bacteria, which is now a host for the virus, creates the spike protein on its surface which helps the body recognize them so it can build up antibodies 
  • The team tested its vaccine candidate on pigs, who are infected with a form of coronavirus known as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus
  • The immunization did not prevent infection completely but did prevent the swine from developing some of the most severe symptoms of the virus
  • Scientists hope the vaccine can fight off existing and future coronaviruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19 and even the common cold

Researchers in Virginia are developing a vaccine that may protect people against all forms of coronaviruses. 

A team at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech saw promising results with their candidate, which prevented pigs from being becoming ill with a pig coronavirus.

The candidate would help the body fight off existing and future strains of coronavirus, including the pathogen that causes COVID-19 and even the common cold. 

The team says it will be faster and easier to distribute than other vaccines, as well as cheaper with doses available for just $1. 

Researchers at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech used a platform that places a piece of synthesized viral DNA into genetically altered E. coli, which creates the spike protein on its surface which helps the body recognize them so it can build up antibodies. Pictured: Dr Steven Zeichner of UVA Health

Researchers at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech used a platform that places a piece of synthesized viral DNA into genetically altered E. coli, which creates the spike protein on its surface which helps the body recognize them so it can build up antibodies. Pictured: Dr Steven Zeichner of UVA Health

The team saw successful results in a test of its vaccine candidate on pigs, who are infected with a form of coronavirus known as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. Pictured: Dr Xiang-Jin Meng of Virginia Tech

The team saw successful results in a test of its vaccine candidate on pigs, who are infected with a form of coronavirus known as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. Pictured: Dr Xiang-Jin Meng of Virginia Tech

‘What we want to do is think toward the future and try to find vaccines in the future that may protect against variants that are starting to come up,’ Dr Steven Zeichner of UVA Health told NBC 12.

Zeichner and his partner, Dr Xiang-Jin Meng, of Virginia Tech, began their research testing their vaccine candidate on pigs, which have similar immunology to humans.

Their candidate codes for a part of the coronavirus known as the spike proteins, also called the fusion peptide.

‘We saw that there was one part of the virus called the fusion peptide, which helps the virus fuse to the cells that it’s going to infect,’ Zeichner explained to NBC 12.  

‘That seems to release the genetic information into the future cells, So what we did was say: “Let’s try to make a vaccine for that.”‘

The fusion peptide is on the same spot of the virus that caused COVID-19 and one of its distant relatives called porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv).

PEDv falls under the family of coronaviruses, but specifically  affects swine, causing diarrhea and vomiting.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), between 50 and 100 percent of piglets infected with PEDv die. 

For their study, the team vaccinated pigs against PEDv and then exposed them to the virus.

The immunization did not prevent infection completely but did prevent the swine from developing some of the most severe symptoms of the virus.  

The vaccine used a platform that involves a piece of synthesized viral DNA into genetically altered E. coli, reported the Staunton News Leader.  

The bacteria, which is now a host for the virus, creates fusion peptides on its surface which helps the body recognize them so it can build up antibodies.  

Vaccines against cholera and pertussis (whooping cough) already use this platform, meaning it could be produced in factories in low-to-middle-income countries around the world.

It also means that the vaccine could be easily transported to rural and underserved communities in the U.S., and stored easily.

‘With the emergence of various SARS-CoV-2 variants, a vaccine targeting a conserved region of all coronaviruses such as the fusion peptide may potentially lead to a broadly protective candidate vaccine,’ Meng told the News Leader. 

‘Such a vaccine, if successful, would be of significant value against variant virus strains.’ 

The team says that the early results are promising but that more research need to be done, including human trials.

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