The new vaccine candidate promises to eradicate polio

Two new polio vaccine candidates that induce an immune response in mice, increasing the likelihood of polio eradication. These vaccine candidates are based on weaker versions of poliovirus and are less likely to produce vaccine-derived strong poliovirus variants than some previous vaccines. The study was recently published in Nature.

Polio is caused by three versions (serotypes) of the poliovirus. Wild poliovirus (WPV) types 2 and 3 have been eradicated over the past decade, thanks to advances in vaccines, which are inactivated or attenuated versions of the virus (weakened enough not to cause disease, but still cause an immune response). However, WPV1 continues to cause disease in Afghanistan and Pakistan, while the other two types of poliovirus produced by the evolution of the virus in vaccines into virulent forms continue to circulate.

The recently developed new oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2) uses a live attenuated virus that has been shown to be effective in elicitizing an immune response while remaining genetically stable and is used against vaccine-derived variants of poliovirus. This stability is due to the inclusion of specific genetic components that limit the virulence of the virus to regain.

Based on this approach, Raul Andino, Andrew Macadam and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, developed WPV1 and 3 vaccines (nOPV1 and nOPV3, respectively). Animal experiments and deep sequencing confirmed that this vaccine candidate remained attenuated even with small mutations after vaccination. They also reported that nOPV1, nOPV2, and nOPV3 proved to be fairly safe in mice. Combined injections of nOPV1, nOPV2 and nOPV3 in mice produced antibodies to all three polioviruses, and the mice were protected from the disease. (Source: Feng Weiwei, China Science News)

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