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COVID-19 vaccines may protect against other Coronaviruses – Study

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The study is the first to  demonstrate cross-protective immunity by vaccines.
The study is the first to demonstrate cross-protective immunity by vaccines.

US: COVID-19 vaccines and prior coronavirus infections can provide broad immunity against other, similar coronaviruses, according to a study.

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, build a rationale for universal coronavirus vaccines that could prove useful in the face of future epidemics.

“Until our study, what hasn’t been clear is if you get exposed to one coronavirus, could you have cross-protection across other coronaviruses? And we showed that is the case,” said study lead author Pablo Penaloza-MacMaster, Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, US.

The three main families of coronaviruses that cause human disease include Sarbecovirus, which includes the S-CoV-1 strain responsible for the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (S), as well as S-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

The other two are Embecovirus, which includes OC43, often responsible for the common cold, and Merbecovirus, which is the virus responsible for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), first reported in 2012.

The study found that plasma from humans who had been vaccinated againstS-CoV-2 produced antibodies that were cross-reactive, or provided protection, againstS-CoV-1 and the common cold coronavirus (OC43).

The researchers found that mice immunised with aS-CoV-1 vaccine developed in 2004 generated immune responses that protected them from intranasal exposure byS-CoV-2.

They also found prior coronavirus infections can protect against subsequent infections with other coronaviruses.

Mice that had been immunised with COVID-19 vaccines and later were exposed to the common cold coronavirus (HCoV-OC43) were partially protected against the common cold, but the protection was much less robust, according to the study.

The reason, the scientists explained, is because bothS-CoV-1 andS-CoV-2 are genetically similar — like cousins of one another — while the common cold coronavirus is more divergent fromS-CoV-2.

“As long as the coronavirus is greater than 70 per cent related, the mice were protected,” Mr Penaloza-MacMaster said.


Thursday, October 21, 2021 – 01:00

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