Study Finds New Target For Future COVID-19 Vaccines

Dec, 2021 - By SMI

Study Finds New Target For Future COVID-19 Vaccines

Researchers found a new antigen target for the next generation COVID-19 vaccine as it could protect against all coronaviruses including those causing the common cold.

A group of researchers from University College London investigated a group of healthcare workers having pre-existing resistance to SARS-CoV-2 infection and found a novel antigen target known as replication proteins, for the next-gen COVID-19 vaccine. According to the research published in the journal Nature on November 01, 2021, using this antigen in next generation of COVID-19 vaccine could provide protection against all type of coronaviruses including those causing common colds, where the vaccine introduces a molecule in the body that is designed to guide the immune system to detect particular pathogens.

Scientists are trying to find alternative SARS-CoV-2 antigen for the next generation COVID-19 vaccine. In this new study, the team of scientists from UCL found a potential antigen after studying a group of healthcare workers in the UK who were found to test negative repeatedly to the SARS-CoV-2 even after high exposure to the virus. When the team studied the data of the cohort, they found an increase in immune T-cells, particularly ready to target the virus. The T cells identified in the research were trained to attack non-structural proteins that are linked to the early phases of life cycle of the virus. These non-structural proteins were also included in the complex of the virus’s replication transcription, which is known as replication proteins.

Moreover, it was discovered that these specific replication proteins are common in all type of coronaviruses and they could be used as antigens into future COVID-19 vaccines. According to the scientists, a vaccine driving the T cells to attack these replication proteins could be used against all type of coronaviruses, including those responsible for common cold.

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