The initial tests in mice a possible vaccine against the Covid-19administered through a patch on the size of the tip of a finger, have shown that it can induce an immune response against the new coronavirus
to levels that could prevent the infection, they said Thursday, a group of scientists from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Pittsburgh in the united States.
Researchers around the world are working to develop possible treatments or vaccines against the respiratory disease that has killed nearly 47,000 people and infected almost a million in just a few months.
The rodents experienced “a surge of antibodies” in two weeks
The team of researchers said that they were able to move forward quickly in the development of a possible vaccine against the Covid-19 after working in other strains of coronavirus that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS, for its acronym in English) and the Respiratory Syndrome Middle East (MERS).
“These two viruses, which are closely related to the SARS-CoV-2 (the new coronavirus responsible for the pandemic of Covid-19), teach us that a particular protein, called protein peak (“spike protein” in English), it is important to induce immunity against the virus,” said Andrea Gambotto, an associate professor of the Faculty of Medicine of Pittsburgh. “We knew exactly where to fight against this new virus.”
When tested in mice, the prototype vaccine, which the researchers have called PittCoVacc— generated “a wave of antibodies against the novel coronavirus in two weeks.
The scientists worked with other strains of coronavirus that cause SARS and MERS
Researchers of Pittsburgh warned that it is too soon to say if and by how much time it takes for the immune response against the Covid-19 due to the animals still have not been observed for enough time.
But they said that comparable evidence in mice with its experimental vaccine against the MERS, there was a sufficient level of antibodies to neutralize the virus for at least a year.
Until now, the antibody levels of the vaccinated animals against SARS-CoV-2 seem to follow the same trend, as they said in a study peer-reviewed in the journal EBioMedicine.
It is too early to say by how much time it takes for the immune response
The team said that they hope to begin testing the vaccine in human clinical trials in the coming months. The potential vaccine uses a design of patch of needlescalled array of microneedles, to amplify their power.
This set is a patch of the size of the tip of a finger with 400 needles are tiny, made of sugar and the protein peak, said Gambotto. The patch is designed to introduce the fragments of this protein in the skin, where the immune reaction is stronger.