The vaccines for COVID-19 have allowed us to return to normalcy – partially, at least. Now, a UCLA study has discovered that there may be a way to curate a vaccine that lasts even longer than the current options.
About the Study
Conducted at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, this study focused on a component of a protein called viral polymerase. Researchers believe that it will further activate T-cells and promote a longer, more durable immune response.
As this protein component is found in SARS-CoV-2 and a number of other coronaviruses, the researchers wanted to focus on seeing if it could prompt a more sustainable immune response. Additionally, it could be utilized in other vaccines in the future.
Specifically, viral polymerase acts as the engine that allows coronaviruses to make copies of themselves. Because of this, the team of researchers wanted to see if human immune systems held T cells that would recognize viral polymerase. They took blood samples from healthy donors that were drawn before the pandemic began and exposed them to the viral polymerase antigen. Using CLInt-Seq, they genetically sequenced receptors and then engineered T cells to carry them. After this, they could evaluate the receptors and their ability to target and kill COVID-19 and other forms of coronavirus.
While further research is necessary, this points to a new vaccine with a longer-lasting impact. You can read the full study results, which were published in Cell Reports.
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