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 “New generation vaccines in the fight against coronavirus" authored by Ph.D. Asadova S.Sh. May 16, 2020 | 16:25 / Publications

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a pandemic a new infectious disease that spreads globally and is easily transmitted from person to person - coronavirus (COVID-19). According to the latest statistics (15.05.2020), a new type of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) has already infected more than 4.52 million people worldwide. The total number of deaths from this deadly virus is 303,082. So far, 1,702,152 people have been cured and there are currently 2,516,792 actively infected patients, of whom 45,566 are in critical condition. To date, no effective drugs against the CoVID-19 virus have been found, patients are treated individually, and treatment is aimed at eliminating complications in the body. According to the data, a process called "cytokine storm" is observed in severe patients infected with the CoVID-19 virus. This process is directly related to the decline of human immunity.  (https://www.newsweek.com/cytokine-storms-covid-19-patients-specially-developed-proteins-1498508). Coronavirus virions consist of a single-stranded molecule (RNA). The virion is surrounded by a lipid coating (capsid). Several proteins are included in the lipid layer. The crown of the virus consists of S-proteins. It is the S-proteins that meet the cells of the human immune system at the first moment of infection, and these cells provide the formation of antibodies against the virus. It is known that the CoVID-19 virus enters the body through the upper respiratory tract. The S-protein that forms the crown protrusions enters the cell after binding to the first-domain angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE 2), which is located in the membranes of the upper respiratory tract cells. In some cases, CoVID-19 can block the enzyme ACE 2. Excessive accumulation of angiotensin 2 and bradykinin in the cells leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary edema, and myocarditis. At the same time, the virus that enters the cell begins to produce proteins encoded on its own RNA molecule, using the cell's reproductive mechanism. According to recent data(https://naked-science.ru/article/medicine/kitajskie-issledovateli-obyasnili), 4 non-structural proteins of the virus (ORF1ab, ORF3a, ORF10, ORF8) and CD147, located on the membranes of S-protein erythrocytes and acting as a secondary domain, bind to the transmembrane protein(https://ria.ru/20200318/1568785423.html  ).

Depending on the structure of the virus, next-generation vaccines are developed in different ways:

  1. Using fragments of S-protein that forms the capsid of the virus;
  2. Using other viruses that do not harm the human body and reproduce certain proteins of CoVID-19.

On March 16, 2020, Moderna launched clinical trials of mRNT1273 vaccine on 45 volunteers in Seattle, USA. (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/two-extreme-long-shots-could-save-us-coronavirus/608539/). Among the vaccines currently being tested, this vaccine is considered the most promising, and its probability of release on the world market will be 12-19 months. The peculiarity of the vaccine is that the S-protein located in the capsid of the virus must be synthesized in the human body, and in this case the immune system must respond to this protein. Even if a vaccinated healthy person is infected with the CoVID-19 virus, the immune system that recognizes his or her S-protein will now destroy the virus.

Two promising vaccines developed by German scientists are being tested before the clinic:

  1. Scientists predict that the vaccine, developed jointly with the world-famous pharmaceutical company Pfizer and biotechnology company BioNTech, will be in clinical trials in late April.
  2. CureVac's m-RNA-based vaccine should begin clinical trials in June-July.

Anna Pavlova, head of Russia's Rospotrebnadzor, says three of the 25-27 vaccine options will be tested. (https://vz.ru/news/2020/4/10/1033679.html). “Pre-clinical trials of the vaccine began in late March at the Vector Center in Novosibirsk. Scientists believe that the vaccine may be launched in October-December 2020 (https://www.rbc.ru/technology_and_media/20/03/2020/5e7419959a7947110a87c9a5). The Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences is working on the development of a high-tech vaccine by inoculating fragments of CoVID-19 with other harmless viruses. In addition to this vaccine, the institute's staff also proposed the development of a liposome-based vaccine. Using this method, fragments of CoVID-19 S-protein and DNA copies of the fragments will be wrapped in liposomes (bubbles formed from the bilipid layer). The proposal was approved by the Russian Academy of Sciences. It is recommended that the liposomal vaccine be manufactured by Farmsynthesis (https://riafan.ru/1266783-uchenye-ran-predlozhili-unikalnyi-sposob-sozdaniya-vakciny-ot-covid-190). It should be noted that US scientists are also involved in the development of nanovaccine (https://www.1tv.ru/shows/doctalk/vypuski/dok-tok-vypusk-ot-02-04-2020 ).

Thus, we hope that in the near future, both effective drugs and vaccines will be introduced.