There is a new compound, still undergoing clinical trials, that could be part of the, for now very small, Covid vaccine club. Is called LeCoVax2 the vaccine and is developed byState University of Milan, which in preclinical studies in mice showed induce the production of neutralizing antibodies to the Sars Cov 2 virus. It is a different vaccine from those currently in use for its mechanism of action, storage and distribution.
The researchers, coordinated by Claudio Bandi, Sara Epis e Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti of the Invernizzi Pediatric Research Center of the State, in collaboration with Emanuele Montomoli, of VisMederi Research, have already filed two patents last February. The vaccines now administered (which are RNA or viral vector) involve the production of virus proteins in the cells of the vaccinees. LeCoVax2 instead is based on a modified single-celled microorganism, capable of producing and transporting viral proteins that act as antigens and can stimulate the production of antibodies in the vaccine. The microorganism that helps, acting as a ‘protein micro-factory’, is there Leishmania tarentolae, not pathogenic for humans (and which has nothing to do with that of dogs) can be administered in an inactivated form.
“Leishmania tarentolae is a sort of micro-factory, usable for the production of proteins very similar to those produced in the cells of a mammal, for example by a virus during infection or by an RNA vaccine – he explains Sara Epis – Once inoculated, the viral proteins produced in Leishmania act as viral antigens capable of stimulating the production of antibodies“. This microorganism tends to penetrate into dendritic cells “which intervene in the early stages of the immune response – adds Bandi – Therefore, the use of Leishmania allows these molecules to be conveyed directly to central cells in the induction of the immune response”. The vaccine has characteristics that make it suitable for developing countries, according to Zuccotti, because “it can be developed in rehydratable lyophilized preparations – he concludes – It can be thought for mucosal administration, for example oral “.
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