Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Respiratory diseases

DNA vaccine protects against MERS infection

In the efforts to prevent the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, researchers may have developed an effective new synthetic vaccine.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania believe that they have developed a promising DNA vaccine against the Middle East Respiratory (MERS), micrograph pictured.

Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Researchers are developing a promising vaccine against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, which has killed hundreds of people

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) emerged in 2012 and has killed 40% of the 1,300 people infected with the virus. Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania believe they have developed a promising vaccine against the virus. 

The researchers found that individuals infected with MERS have a strong immune response to a viral protein called ‘spike’. Armed with this knowledge, they synthesised a computer-designed DNA sequence for the protein. In mammals, the DNA is taken into cells that then express the protein, eliciting an immune response. In rhesus macaques administered the DNA vaccine, none of them developed MERS after exposure to the virus. It also induced protective antibodies in camels, a species that transmits MERS to humans. 

This strategy could be valuable in the fight against MERS, the authors conclude in Science Translational Medicine (online, 19 August 2015)[1].

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20069230

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania believe that they have developed a promising DNA vaccine against the Middle East Respiratory (MERS), micrograph pictured.

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.