New Measles-based Vaccine A Cure for COVID-19?

The pandemic has entirely created chaos with the rising number of deaths over 572,000 and 13 million positive cases worldwide. And yet the scientists are still coming up with candidates for a viable vaccine. Germany’s Paul Ehrlich Institute has put forth a new study regarding the potential vaccine that is based on the measles vaccine which elicits an antibody response as well as cellular immunity, both against the virus creating a significant weapon against the pandemic. The said vaccine was used against SARS (2002) and MERS(2012) to elicit immunity against them. The vector vaccines containing recombinant MeV as well as the wildtype Spike (S) protein of the SARS virus elicited high titers of neutralizing antibodies, as well as T cells producing IFN-γ.

Animals were also exposed to the virus but the virus titer was reduced by over one hundred times. To alter the expression of the antigen, the researchers inserted a gene that encodes the SARS-CoV-2 S protein into two distinct parts of the MeV genome. The researchers were confirmed that both recombinant MeV survived and replicated with stable amplification which was being observed in 10 or more passages. At this point, the stability of the viral genomes was confirmed by sequencing.

This vaccine candidate was tested in mice models and they found that the vaccinated mice had IgG antibodies targeting the S protein only after immunization. Neutralizing antibody response to the measles virus was positive in most of the immunized mice, including those who were receiving the recombinant vaccine and the control virus. Cellular immunity was also stimulated in both the samples of species notifying that this antigen has a strong stimulatory effect on cellular immunity.

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