Synthetic Vaccine Is Safer, More Stable

Scientists develop a safer vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease by reproducing the protein shells that encase the disease-causing virus.

By | March 29, 2013

Structure of the foot-and-mouth disease virusTHE PIRBRIGHT INSTITUTEBritish researchers have created an entirely synthetic vaccine for the animal affliction foot-and-mouth disease, according to a study out this week in PLOS Pathogens. The vaccine comprises only a structural mimic of the protein shell of the virus that causes the disease, and thus contains no genetic material, rendering it unable to infect animals. The synthetic capsid has also been engineered for enhanced stability, so it lasts longer outside of cold storage and will therefore be easier to distribute in the poor, hot countries where foot and mouth is endemic.

The vaccine is expected to be available to farmers in 6 to 8 years, reported Nature. But if the method proves successful when scaled for commercial production, it could be used to create safer and more practical synthetic vaccines for human diseases caused by similar viruses, including polio, which remains a formidable problem in the developing world.

“This work will have a broad and enduring impact on vaccine development, and the technology should be transferable to other viruses from the same family,” study coauthor Dave Stuart, a structural biologist at the University of Oxford, told BBC News.

The research was carried out in response to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth that devastated farms in the United Kingdom in 2001. Almost 10 million livestock animals had to be put down, and a mass vaccination program followed. But 6 years later, a vaccine made from inactivated virus reverted to its infectious form and caused another outbreak.

Previous attempts to create a synthetic vaccine by making a recombinant version of the virus capsid failed primarily because the scientists were unable to make the complex shell structure strong enough; the synthetic shells simply fell apart too quickly to be useful. This time, however, Stuart and his colleagues were able to tweak the production process to reinforce the weak points and therefore make the empty capsids more stable.

The researchers then used X-ray crystallography to show that their synthetic capsids are almost exact replicas of the real thing, and demonstrated their ability to induce protective immunity in cattle for up to 34 weeks.

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Avatar of: dennyrandall


Posts: 1

April 18, 2014

Any funding will go to the development and production of vaccines for avian influenza A (H5N1) virus, the Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus or hemorrhagic fever virus.
For the past year i have bee
n working on software that helps me build novel Synthetic antibodies  for vaccines, by the use of a supercomputer I have come up with a number of possible antibodies which could be turned in to working and effective vaccines.

We currently have a working model for h5n1, and ebov..
Vaccine production could start in months.

More about Synthetic antibodies, we are in a time, when we must find a way to quickly and perfectly deal with new and emerging viruses. The best way up until now has been to use modified are killed virus's to force the body to produce antibodies’ that fool the virus in to thinking the host has been infected.

my  new polymer-based antibodies offer a synthetic design approach to the production of molecular recognition sites — enabling, among other applications, the detection of a potentially infinite library of targets. Moreover, this approach can provide a more durable alternative to coating sensors such as carbon nanotubes with actual antibodies, which can break down inside living cells and tissues. Another family of commonly used recognition molecules are DNA aptamers, which are short pieces of DNA that interact with specific targets, depending on the aptamer sequence. However, there are not aptamers specific to many of molecules that one might want to detect,

In a new paper,  researchers describe molecular recognition sites that enable the creation of sensors specific to riboflavin, estradiol (a form of estrogen), and L-thyroxine (a thyroid hormone), but they are now working on sites for many other types of molecules, including neurotransmitters, carbohydrates, and proteins.

Their approach takes advantage of a phenomenon that occurs when certain types of polymers bind to a carbon nanotube. These polymers, known as amphiphilic, have both hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions. These polymers are designed and synthesized such that when the polymers are exposed to carbon nanotubes, the hydrophobic regions latch onto the tubes like anchors and the hydrophilic regions form a series of loops extending away from the tubes.

These loops form a new layer surrounding the nanotube, known as a corona. The MIT researchers found that the loops within the corona are arranged very precisely along the tube, and the spacing between the anchors determines which target molecule will be able to wedge into the loops and alter the carbon nanotube’s.

A Synthetic Vaccine, one made with my models can be engineered in such a way, were one shot will due us the rest of our life. As well as protect us from future mutations of a virus.

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