Recent studies show that nasal vaccines could be more effective against coronavirus

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A recent study in mice showed important revelations; nasal vaccines could be more effective than those given by injection against coronavirus.

 David Curiel and Michael S. Diamond, professors at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, USA, and leading researchers, in collaboration with other professionals have successfully created a vaccine that encodes the SARS-CoV-2 virus protein, which the virus uses to invade cells which they subsequently injected to lab mice.

Interesting observations were made after the mice were injected with the vaccine and then exposed to the virus.  The tiny animals showed no infection in their lungs; however, it was noted that they did harbour small amounts of viral RNA. 

On the other hand, mice that were given the vaccine in the nose had no measurable viral RNA in their lungs. 

Researchers reached to the conclusion that the nasal vaccine completely prevented infection.

They explained that the nasal administration created a strong immune response throughout the body, “but was particularly effective in the nose and respiratory tract, preventing the infection from taking hold of the body.

Professor Diamond said they were “pleasantly surprised to see a strong immune response in the cells of the inner lining of the nose and upper respiratory tract, and profound protection against infection with this virus”.

“These mice were well protected from the disease. And in some of the mice, we saw evidence of sterile immunity, where there is no sign of infection after the mouse is challenged with the virus,” he said.

According to researchers, the experiment was very “promising,” but warned that so far it has only been studied in mice. 

 A study to test the vaccine in primates with a plan to move to human clinical trials will begin as soon as possible.

“We are optimistic, but this must continue to go through proper evaluation. We hope to begin the next round of studies and eventually test it in people to see if we can induce the kind of protective immunity that we believe will not only prevent infection but also slow down the pandemic transmission of this virus,” said Diamond.

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