At a time when the continuous discovery of new variants of COVID-19 is giving sleepless nights to researchers across the world, Indian scientists have claimed that they have designed a universal vaccine that can be effective against all such variants. The development comes at a time when new variants of the coronavirus triggered fresh waves across the world.
According to scientists at the Kazi Nazrul University, Asansol and Indian Institue of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneshwar, they have designed a peptide vaccine. They claimed that the vaccine could protect against any future variants of the COVID-19.
The research done by Indian scientists has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Molecular Liquids that is devoted to fundamental aspects of structure, interactions and dynamic processes in simple, molecular and complex liquids.
“In this study, we employed immunoinformatic approaches to design AbhiSCoVac – a multi-epitope multi-target chimeric peptide that would be able to generate protective immunity against all six virulent members of the family hCoV-229E, hCoV-HKU1, hCoV-OC43, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV as well as SARS-CoV-2,” the researchers said.
“The designed vaccine was found to be highly stable, antigenic and immunogenic,” the researchers Abhigyan Choudhury and Suprabhat Mukherjee from Kazi Nazrul University and Parth Sarthi Sen Gupta, Saroj Kumar Panda, and Malay Kumar Rana from IISER, Bhubaneshwar said.
According to Choudhary, the vaccine has been developed by the team of researchers using computational methods. He said that the next stage would involve the production of the vaccine that would be followed by testing.
“This vaccine is one of a kind. No other vaccine in the world has been designed to cope with all the Coronaviridae family viruses at a single time,” he told PTI.
Choudhary said that researchers initially identified various conserved regions in the spike protein of the six different variants of the virus that undergo very few mutations and thus change a little in the course of the pandemic. The identified regions of the protein are highly immunogenic. This means that they can produce high levels of immune memory in the body that is required to protect against the COVID-19.