“The idea is that it will give broader protection that more resembles that gained after an actual infection and will be a bit more future-proof than the vaccines currently in use,” said researcher Matti Sallberg, professor at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
In this newly published study, the researchers show that the vaccine protects mice against serious infection from the beta variant of SARS-CoV-2, a variant that can evade the immune response, and activates immune cells (T cells) that recognize the coronavirus found in bats.
New COVID-19 Vaccine
Different types of vaccines have been highly instrumental in impeding the pandemic caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. One challenge is the virus mutability, which is to say, its ability to change to avoid the human defense response.
Most current vaccines are based on using parts of the coronavirus’s so-called spike protein to trigger the body’s immune response to the virus. It is a good vaccine protein to use, but unfortunately, it is the spike protein where frequent mutations occur, which can impact the vaccines’ effectiveness.
The researchers are, therefore, developing a vaccine containing more parts of the virus, including ones that do not mutate at the same rate as the spike protein.
In this case, it concerns DNA for parts of the spike protein from three different coronavirus variants and DNA for another two virus proteins, called M and N, where mutations are less common.