These vaccines will target Covid – and the entire SARS strain

Although the researchers used RBD from only one copy of Covid, their vaccine produced a strong polygonal response — meaning that it created multiple types of antibodies, rather than just one. For Saunders, that’s part of the magic of the approach: He says creating many types of antibodies is helpful, because the type that’s highly effective against one variant may not be effective against another. Or vice versa: a previously weak antibody can better neutralize the newer variant. “Some of these antibodies will be great at responding to omicron, some will be great at responding to alpha, and some will be great at responding to delta,” he says. And some, ideally, would be great at responding to variables that don’t yet exist.

jump on the vaccine

David Martinez, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who has been a co-author of several RBD nanoparticle papers, has investigated whether these types of vaccines can be boosted by an adjuvant: a substance that “stimulates” the immune system and with the vaccine. “If you’re asleep in your bed, the alarm goes off, you don’t get up, and someone throws you a bucket of ice water — that’s what an immune system adjuvant can do,” he says.

Auxiliaries can be made from fats, salts, or other types of oils. One species even contains oil from shark. Often used in vaccines; For example, the first Covid-19 mRNA vaccines used lipid nanoparticles as their adjuvants.

Last January with Saunders’ lab, the team tested the RBD nanoparticle vaccine with three different types of adjuvants. They found that, compared to the independent vaccine, those with any of the three adjuvants produced higher concentrations of antibodies.

A specific cofactor, called 3M-052-AF, produced the largest number of antibodies that neutralized different strains of SARP-virus. While the exact recipe is its own, the adjuvant contains something called a TLR7/8 agonist: small molecules that stimulate immune cells to activate the immune response. These types of molecules can “basically talk to the immune system and over-activate the immune system to counteract whatever external insult it sees,” Martinez says.

Corona virus containment

Scientists are also exploring other nano-based methods for immunizing against variants. One of these, called the “nano trap”, was originally described in issue In June 2021 as a treatment for those already infected and not as a vaccine. The nanotrap is a mechanism that eliminates Covid viruses through phagocytosis, which means that macrophages or any other immune cell eat them. Nanotraps work somewhat like bait – they basically trick the body into gnawing at the invading virus.

The idea could work on a variety of viruses, but bioengineer Jun Huang of the University of Chicago and his team created one that is specific to Sarpic viruses because it has a polymeric nanoshell studded with ACE2 receptors, which are the receptors found on human cells. The Covid virus is associated with . Because of the high density of ACE2 receptors on the surface of the nanotrap, Covid viruses are attracted to and attached to them. But here comes the role of the trap: Sprayed amidst the ACE2 receptor are ligands, small molecules that can bind to the cell’s receptor and, in this case, stimulate phagocytosis. Macrophages in the body recognize the association and devour the rest of the virus-infected nanotrap, thus eliminating the virus. “We catch the virus first, then we get rid of it,” Huang says.

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