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Highly effective measles virus-based Th1-biased coronavirus vaccine

ANI | Updated: Dec 01, 2020 08:26 IST

Washington [US], December 1 (ANI): A measles-virus-based COVID-19 vaccine might be able to prevent both COVID-19 and measles, according to a new study.
As per the authors, a measles-virus-based COVID-19 vaccine could be administered as part of routine measles immunization schedules.
In the study published in the journal PNAS, researchers report a COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on a live-attenuated measles virus.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has killed more than 1 million people worldwide, underscoring the pressing need for an effective vaccine.

Michael Muhlebach and colleagues explored the possibility of using a live-attenuated measles virus as a vector for a coronavirus vaccine. The authors inserted the gene for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein into the genome of a measles virus strain used in measles vaccines.
Sera of mice or hamsters vaccinated with this recombinant virus contained antibodies capable of effectively neutralising SARS-CoV-2 and measles virus.
Cytotoxic T cells from vaccinated mice selectively killed cells expressing SARS-CoV-2 spike protein upon stimulation with the spike protein.
Antibody and cytokine levels in vaccinated mice were consistent with a Th1-biased immune response, suggesting a low risk of immunopathologies such as antibody-dependent enhancement and enhanced respiratory disease.
In hamster and mouse models, vaccinated animals exhibited lower viral loads and less severe pathology following infection with SARS-CoV-2 than unvaccinated animals. (ANI)