Advantages of the intranasal (through the nose) vaccine against COVID-19.This will be one of the Spanish vaccines developed by CSIC
Luis Enjuanes, a virologist in charge of developing a vaccine for COVID-19 in Spain, promised in an interview with CSIC that a dose will be administered by intranasal vaccination (that is, through the nose) and it may be ready in a year. What are its advantages?
Top photo: Virologist Luis Enjuanes, in National Biotechnology Center CSIC. / CNB-CSIC communication.
Enjuanes, who leads the research team of the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB), detailed that the vaccine he developed will also be “self-amplifying”, which means that the injected RNA dose can increase up to 5,000 times in the body.
Why is the vaccine injected through the nose?
Local response to the virus
There is an approved nasal flu vaccine and oral typhoid vaccine.
Most vaccines are given by injection into muscle tissue. However, most viral infections occur on mucosal surfaces, such as the lungs and upper respiratory tract, reproductive tract or gastrointestinal tract. Building a strong defense barrier in these areas can help the body defend against infection more effectively.
There is an approved nasal flu vaccine and oral typhoid vaccine. Both vaccines are composed of live attenuated viruses, which can better cross the mucosal barrier.
Enjuanes explained that the intramuscular route of administration used so far “is not the most suitable because it can induce systemic immunity, systemic immunity, and the mucosal strength is weak.” The mucous membranes (nose, eyes, respiratory tract, etc.) are open to the outside. Space, the immunity of these areas can be better induced locally and present antigens [la sustancia que provoca la respuesta inmunitaria; en este caso, la vacuna]. The virus enters our body mainly through the respiratory tract, so if you get the vaccine intranasally, you can immunize the area with greater protection.”
Viruses that infect mucous membranes
Many viruses infect the host through mucosal surfaces (such as the lining of the respiratory tract). MIT researchers have also developed a vaccination strategy that can create a set of T cells that are ready and waiting on these surfaces to respond more quickly to viral invaders.They published their research in Scientific immunology.
They have shown that by providing mice with vaccines modified to bind to proteins naturally present in mucus, they can induce strong memory T cell responses in the lungs of experimental mice. This can help the vaccine to be transported across mucosal barriers (such as the lining of the lungs).
In addition to preventing pathogens that infect the lungs, these types of inhaled vaccines can also be used to treat cancers that have metastasized to the lungs.
Targeting the tumor
The researchers also tested a mucosal cancer vaccine. In that case, they used peptides found in melanoma cells to immunize mice. When vaccinated mice are exposed to metastatic melanoma cells, T cells in the lungs are able to kill them. The researchers also showed that the vaccine can help shrink existing lung tumors.
By targeting antigens normally found on tumor cells, this type of local reaction can enable the development of vaccines that will prevent the formation of tumors in specific organs.
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