At the research center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the team of engineers developed a universal vaccine that helps cope with toxoplasmosis, swine flu, the Ebola virus. The main difference between the new drug and the existing ones is the use of RNA, which is capable of encoding pathogenic proteins (viruses or bacteria). Scientists were able to integrate RNA into the molecule and, after getting such a molecule into the cells and synthesizing proteins, the body began to produce antibodies to viruses, i.e. An immune response was observed. The results of their work specialists published in one of the famous scientific publications.
According to Daniel Anderson, the lead author of the new research project, this way it is possible to produce the vaccine in just 7-10 days, which will allow timely and effective control of unexpected outbreaks of infections, in addition, it is possible to quickly change the composition of the vaccine for greater effectiveness.
The composition of vaccines used today includes inactivated microorganisms, the production of such drugs takes quite a long time, besides, complications after vaccination are not ruled out. In a number of vaccines, instead of inactivated microorganisms, proteins that produce viruses or bacteria are used, however such vaccines are less effective and specialists are forced to intensify the action of the drugs with special substances - adjuvants.
A new RNA vaccine can cause a stronger immune response, compared to traditional vaccines, because the cells produce a huge number of copies of the protein that is encoded in them.
It is worth noting that the idea of using ribonucleic acid for vaccine production has existed for about three decades, but specialists have not been able to find a way to safely deliver RNA molecules to the body. And recently, with the help of nanoparticles, Massachusetts specialists succeeded in doing this - positively charged nanoparticles (from a special polymer) combined with negative RNA. Then the scientists obtained spheres with a diameter of approximately 0.15 microns (the approximate size of the viruses). Experiments have shown that RNA-based drugs are able to penetrate into cells using the same proteins as viruses or bacteria.
After the particles penetrate into the cells, the synthesis of protein begins, which leads to an immune reaction of the body. As shown by a number of tests, RNA vaccine can cause not only cellular, but also humoral immunity.
Scientists tested the new drug on rodents and found that the body of individuals who received the vaccine, subsequently did not react to the causative agents of swine flu, Ebola virus, toxoplasmosis.
According to the developers, the new vaccine is safer in comparison with DNA-based vaccines, because RNA is incapable of integrating into genes and leading to different mutations. A team of researchers will soon receive a patent for their invention and it is quite possible the drug will go into batch production.
Also, experts noted that they are going to find vaccines against both the virus Zika and Lyme disease.