Nav: Home

Early childhood vaccinations might protect children from COVID-19

June 25, 2020

A group of Lithuanian and Kurdish scientists have raised a hypothesis that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine could protect children from COVID-19. The hypothesis is based on the discovered sequence similarity of the 30 amino acid residues between glycoproteins of SARS-CoV-2, measles and rubella viruses. An experimental analysis is required in order to support the hypothesis.

An ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID?19) has claimed more than 450 thousand lives already; globally, more than 9 million cases of COVID?19 infection have been confirmed.

According to detailed data of COVID-19-infected patients from China, Italy, and South Korea, the disease is less common and milder in children younger than 10 years of age.

The reasons why children are less susceptible to COVID-19 remain unclear. However, the research carried out at Charmo University in Iraq and at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) in Lithuania, provided evidence that MMR vaccination might be a reason why children have protection against the disease.

The hypothesis is backed up by the sequence similarity data between the SARS-CoV-2 with both measles and rubella viruses.

"The antibodies produced in children due to the MMR vaccine could recognize some protein parts (epitopes) on the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins. These antibodies, particularly in the epithelial layer of respiratory airways, block binding, and entering the virus into the cells", explains Prof Rimantas Kodzius from KTU Panevezys Faculty of Technology and Business.

SARS-CoV-2 is a single- strand, positive-sense RNA virus. S protein is a key immunogenic protein of SARS-CoV-2 that induces the host immune system; the latter fights off the foreign particles that enter the human body by producing antibodies. Humans are routinely immunized against several viral diseases in early childhood, which usually induces broad immunity against the viral particles.

Immunological principle based on the antibody cross-reaction recognizing antigens in two different microbes inspired the group of scientists lead by Prof Kodzius of KTU, to look for homology sequence searching in SARS-CoV-2 and the viruses that commonly are prevented by vaccination during childhood. It was discovered that 30 amino acid residues share similarities between the Spike (S) glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Fusion glycoprotein of Measles virus as well as with the envelope glycoprotein of the Rubella virus.

"We are the first group to propose children protection through MMR vaccine and to support the claim by sequence homology between SARS-CoV-2 with measles and rubella viruses", says Prof Kodzius.

According to scientists, recent studies show that the levels of antibodies against MMR vaccination may persist for 15-20 years. Therefore, the protection against COVID-19 could last up to 15-20 years. However, experimental research including testing purified spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 against the polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies of measles and rubella viruses in vivo and in vitro is required in order to support the hypothesis.

Prof Rimantas Kodzius spent a year teaching and researching at The American University of Iraq Sulaimani (AUIS) in Iraq, Kurdistan region, Sulaimani city. That is how his cooperation with the local researchers began.

"In uncertain times like the COVID-19 pandemic, the collaboration yields results. The phone connection, the internet is available, and the work is possible even without travel", says Prof Kodzius, who has joined KTU in 2018.
-end-


Kaunas University of Technology

Related Antibodies Articles:

More effective human antibodies possible with chicken cells
Antibodies for potential use as medicines can be made rapidly in chicken cells grown in laboratories.
X-ray experiments zero in on COVID-19 antibodies
An antibody derived from a SARS survivor in 2003 appears to effectively neutralize the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, opening the door for speedy development of a targeted treatment.
Towards antibodies against COVID-19
The lab of Xavier Saelens (VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology) announces the isolation and characterization of a unique antibody that can bind to the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).
Antibodies from llamas could help in fight against COVID-19
Initial tests of a new candidate antibody treatment for COVID-19 indicate that it blocks viruses that display the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from infecting cells in culture.
Antibodies could provide new treatment for OCD
Mental health conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder could be treated in a new way using drugs that target the immune system, research suggests.
Antibodies in the brain trigger epilepsy
Certain forms of epilepsy are accompanied by inflammation of important brain regions.
Fatal overproduction of antibodies
Bone marrow plasma cells produce antibodies. These comprise two long and two short protein chains.
Antibodies: the body's own antidepressants
Antibodies can be a blessing or a curse to the brain -- it all depends on their concentration.
Antibodies gather and form a circle for defensive attack
Antibodies play a crucial role in our immune system by linking antigen recognition with complement activation for attacking foreign cells.
Hiring antibodies as nanotechnology builders
Researchers at the University of Rome Tor Vergata recruit antibodies as molecular builders to assemble nanoscale structures made of synthetic DNA.
More Antibodies News and Antibodies Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Flag and the Fury
How do you actually make change in the world? For 126 years, Mississippi has had the Confederate battle flag on their state flag, and they were the last state in the nation where that emblem remained "officially" flying.  A few days ago, that flag came down. A few days before that, it coming down would have seemed impossible. We dive into the story behind this de-flagging: a journey involving a clash of histories, designs, families, and even cheerleading. This show is a collaboration with OSM Audio. Kiese Laymon's memoir Heavy is here. And the Hospitality Flag webpage is here.