United States: Scientists are working on developing a vaccine that would help fight strains of the COVID virus SARS-CoV-2 that have yet to emerge. 

More about the recent study 

The first author of the study, Rory Hills, noted that the efforts that the scientists of the University of Cambridge are putting has been showing results in lab tests performed on mice. However, he also mentioned that the results of mouse studies aren’t always translated to humans. 

Hills, who is a graduate pharmacology researcher at Cambridge, said, “Our focus is to create a vaccine that will protect us against the next coronavirus pandemic, and have it ready before the pandemic has even started,” as US News reported. 

The study findings were published in Nature Nanotechnology on May 6. 

Scientists Develop Vaccine to Fight 'Future' COVID Strains. Credit | Getty Images
Scientists Develop Vaccine to Fight ‘Future’ COVID Strains. Credit | Getty Images

Approach taken by the scientists 

Hills and the team are using a novel approach for vaccine development, which is called “proactive vaccinology,” where they are trying to manufacture a shot that shields against viral strains that are yet to appear. 

Mark Howarth, the study senior author and Cambridge professor of pharmacology, stated, “We don’t have to wait for new coronaviruses to emerge. We know enough about coronaviruses and different immune responses to them that we can get going with building protective vaccines against unknown coronaviruses now,” as US News reported. 

Know more about the study 

An essential part of the research is Nanotechnology. The functioning of the vaccines is performed by sensitizing the human immune system and hence spotting and attacking that key “antigen” lying on a particular germ’s surface. 

According to the Cambridge group working on the study, when they employed a nanoparticle, which they dubbed a Quartet Nanocage, “a ball of proteins held together by incredibly strong interactions,” as per the news release. 

Further, they engineered different viral antigens, which were lodged inside this nanocage. According to experts, the nanocage vaccine is relatively simple, which could prove to be a boon if further human clinical trials are conducted. 

Hills said, “We’ve created a vaccine that provides protection against a broad range of different coronaviruses – including ones we don’t even know about yet,” as US News reported. 

“Scientists did a great job in quickly producing an extremely effective COVID vaccine during the last pandemic, but the world still had a massive crisis with a huge number of deaths,” he added, and “We need to work out how we can do even better than that in the future, and a powerful component of that is starting to build the vaccines in advance.” 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here