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COVID-19: Hyderabad University Professor Develops Potential Vaccine To Combat Virus

The vaccine is said to be a T cell epitopes against all 'structural and non-structural proteins of novel coronavirus for experimental testing.'


A faculty member of the University of Hyderabad's Department of Biochemistry has potentially designed a vaccine for coronavirus. The vaccine is said to be a T cell epitopes against all 'structural and non-structural proteins of novel coronavirus for experimental testing.'

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Potential vaccine in India

A press release said, "Dr Seema Mishra, faculty of the Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad (UoH) has designed potential vaccine candidates, called T cell epitopes, against all the structural and non-structural proteins of novel coronavirus-2 (2019-nCoV) for experimental testing. These vaccine candidates are small coronaviral peptides, molecules which are used by cells to trigger an immune response to destroy cells harbouring these viral peptides. Using powerful immunoinformatics approaches with computational software, Dr Seema Mishra has designed these potential epitopes in a way that can be used to vaccinate the entire population."

"Usually, vaccine discovery takes 15 years but the powerful computational tools helped in quickly enlisting these vaccine candidates in about 10 days. A ranked list of potential candidate vaccines, based on how much effect they will be used by human cells to stop the virus, has been generated. With no matches present in human protein pool, these coronaviral epitopes pose no cross-reactivity to human cells and hence, the immune response will be against viral proteins and not human proteins. However, these results have to be investigated experimentally in order to provide conclusive evidence. These results have been disseminated to the scientific community using ChemRxiv preprint platform for urgent experimental assays. These are the first such studies on nCoV vaccine design from India exploring whole coronaviral proteome across structural and non-structural proteins that make up the virus."

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday, announced that the country will be in a lockdown for three weeks effective midnight. In an address to the country PM Modi stated that in order to break the contact chain and stop the transmission of Coronavirus, it is important to stay at home and not venture out. Highlighting the dangers of venturing out, PM Modi warned the citizens that families will be devastated forever if the necessary precautions are not taken. He admitted that the country will be facing severe economic setbacks, but the lockdown is absolutely necessary.

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India has reported more than 700 cases of coronavirus with as many as 17 people losing their lives. 

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