June 22, 2024

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Mixed RNA and protein vaccine induces 5-fold increase in antibodies

Mixed RNA and protein vaccine induces 5-fold increase in antibodies



 

Mixed RNA and protein vaccine induces 5-fold increase in antibodies.

Caltech scientists have developed a new vaccine that works like a hybrid of mRNA and protein nanoparticles. In tests on mice, the vaccine prototype produced five times more antibodies than existing COVID-19 vaccines and could be used to protect against a range of diseases.

 

Mixed RNA and protein vaccine induces 5-fold increase in antibodies

 

The general principle of vaccines is to train a person’s immune system to recognize pathogens, such as influenza or the SARS-CoV-2 virus, so that they can be more effectively defended against them in future infections.

This is usually done by introducing the target protein into the body so that immune cells can produce effective antibodies against it.

 

Protein-based vaccines, such as Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, directly deliver inactivated versions of the pathogen’s proteins, allowing them to circulate and attract the attention of immune cells.

The mRNA vaccine, which had been in development for decades before the COVID-19 pandemic, took a different approach.

These vaccines use mRNA molecules that teach the body’s own cells to produce fragments of viral proteins that trigger an immune response.

 

Mixed RNA and protein vaccine induces 5-fold increase in antibodies

 

The Caltech team has now developed a new technique that combines these two approaches into a single vaccine.

The vaccine, called ESCRT and ALIX-binding region (EABR) technology, uses mRNA to induce recipient cells to make protein fragments, while also adding small “tails” to those proteins.

These “tails” trigger cellular processes that allow some proteins to condense into virus-like particles that circulate through the body. In this way, they work like protein-based vaccines.

 

“During natural infection, the immune system encounters both infected cells and free virus particles. The current mRNA Vaccines mimic infected cells, while protein nanoparticle-based vaccines mimic free virus particles to stimulate an immune response. Our hybrid technology does both.”

 

The team tested the new technology in mice as a COVID-19 vaccine and found that mice vaccinated with the mix produced five times as many antibodies as existing vaccines.

Only two injections rather than three were needed to induce robust antibody levels against the Omicron variant, and these antibodies were equally effective against the original strain and the Delta variant.

 

While there is still much work to be done, the team says this hybrid vaccine technology could be used against other pathogens, such as influenza or even HIV. Further afield, using tails to build self-assembling nanoparticles could eventually be used to deliver drugs to targets such as cancer cells.

 

The research was published in the journal Cell.

 

 

 

Mixed RNA and protein vaccine induces 5-fold increase in antibodies

(source:internet, reference only)


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