Trapped viruses within a new strategy for the vaccine industry
Chinese scientists create a vaccine that contains the live virus in a protective water gel in order to activate the body’s immune response quickly, safely and effectively without side effects and safety problems.
Promising technology for health protection
BEIJING – Chinese scientists have devised a new strategy for making vaccines that avoids the disadvantages and side effects of inactivated virus technology.
Inactivated vaccines contain a killed form of the pathogen, to help the immune system trigger a response without causing disease.
The manufacture of vaccines with a whole virus raises concerns about reducing immunity and raises questions about safety.
This method also requires time-consuming production processes, which hinders its widespread application.
Recently, the risks of new viral outbreaks have led to an urgent need for safe and effective ready-to-use vaccines.
The strategy involves trapping the live virus in a protective hydrogel in order to quickly, safely, and effectively activate the body’s immune response.
Researchers from Zhejiang University and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology demonstrated an experimental vaccine consisting of live, wild-type Zika virus, a mosquito-borne single-stranded RNA virus, Xinhua reported.
They prevent the escape of viral particles via electrostatic interaction but allow the passage of immune cells
The researchers trapped the virus in a water gel using chitosan scaffolds, which can prevent the escape of viral particles through electrostatic interaction but allow the passage of immune cells.
The vaccine, injected under the skin of mice, was shown to activate normal immune responses, resulting in effective humoral and cellular immunity, thus protecting the rodents against deadly Zika infection, according to the study, which was published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.
This study shows that virulent virus strains can be directly converted into vaccines by engineering virus-trapping microenvironments.
The study represents a promising strategy for protecting health against emerging infectious diseases, the researchers said.