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Researchers in the US have successfully developed an antibody vaccine that has proven to be effective against the original, SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 along with its variants that emerged in the UK, South Africa and Brazil. Further, this new vaccine, called the ‘pan-coronavirus vaccine,’ can neutralise other bat-related coronaviruses that could potentially lead to another pandemic in the near future. The latest vaccine showed promising efficacy when administered among monkeys and mice for protection against the coronaviruses.
In the study published in the journal Nature on May 10, the researchers wrote that the pan-coronavirus vaccine triggers neutralising antibodies through a nanoparticle which is further composed of that part of the coronavirus that allows it to bind with the human cell receptors and is also formulated with a chemical booster called an adjuvant. The researchers from Duke University in North Carolina, US said that the success of the newly-developed vaccine is significant for judging the relevance of the jabs among humans.
The researchers wrote, “These results demonstrate current mRNA vaccines may provide some protection from future zoonotic betaCoV outbreaks, and provide a platform for further development of pan-betaCoV vaccines.”
The senior author of the study, Barton F. Haynes, from Duke University Human Vaccine Institute in the US revealed that the work on the pan-coronavirus vaccine began in spring 2020 with the prior understanding that similar to all viruses, mutations would occur in SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID-19. While elaborating on the different approach than the existing mRNA-based vaccines for protection against COVID-19, Haynes said, “The new approach not only provided protection against SARS-CoV-2, but the antibodies induced by the vaccine also neutralised variants of concern that originated in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.”
He said that the induced antibodies reacted with a wide range of coronaviruses as his team built on the existing studies involving SARS, the respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-1. The researchers got the lead to develop such a vaccine after they discovered a person infected with SARS who developed antibodies that could neutralise multiple coronaviruses.