Home Technology New vaccine breakthrough stops chase for strains | UCR News

New vaccine breakthrough stops chase for strains | UCR News

New vaccine breakthrough stops chase for strains | UCR News

Scientists at UC Riverside have developed a groundbreaking RNA-based vaccine strategy that has the potential to be effective against any strain of a virus. This innovative approach can be safely used by individuals of all ages, including babies and those with compromised immune systems. The vaccine targets a common part of the viral genome shared by all strains, eliminating the need for multiple shots and addressing the challenge of predicting prevalent strains each year. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrates the broad applicability and effectiveness of this universal vaccine strategy.

Traditional vaccines rely on the body’s immune response to recognize and attack viral proteins, producing T-cells and memory B-cells for protection. In contrast, the new RNA-based vaccine utilizes small, silencing RNA molecules to target viruses. By modifying live viruses to weaken their ability to block the body’s RNAi response, the vaccine effectively boosts the immune system without requiring traditional immune active proteins. This approach provides a promising solution for individuals with underdeveloped or overtaxed immune systems, offering a new avenue for vaccine development that could revolutionize how we approach infectious diseases.

The researchers’ success with a mouse virus called Nodamura, even in mutant mice lacking key immune cells, highlights the potential of this vaccine strategy. With a single injection, the mice remained protected from a lethal virus dose for an extended period. The team’s plans to further apply this concept to create a universal flu vaccine and potentially address other human pathogens like dengue, SARS, and COVID showcase the broad implications and future possibilities of this groundbreaking research. By targeting the entire viral genome with RNA molecules, the researchers aim to create a versatile “one-and-done” vaccine approach that could transform vaccination strategies against a range of viruses.

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