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Vaccination for the Common Cold is on the Horizon

Despite all the advances scientists have made in defeating the diseases that plague mankind, a cure for the common cold has continued to elude them. Part of the difficulty in developing that cure is that there are so many variations in the root causes of colds. Now, however, scientists have created a vaccine that targets multiple strains of cold, and it is unexpectedly simple to produce.

The new cold vaccine is a concoction that mixes together many different rhinoviruses, the types of viral infections that cause most common colds.

The researchers from Emory University applied the treatment to groups of mice and macaques. The drug stimulated antibody responses to all the types of rhinovirus in the vaccine, eliminating a variety of threats at once.

Team member Martin Moore says:

It’s surprising that nobody tried such a simple solution over the last 50 years. We just took 50 types of rhinovirus and mixed them together into our vaccine, and made sure we had enough of each one.

The new vaccine is not yet ready to give to humans, but the researchers have evidence the immune system can defend against multiple causes of the virus, at least in animal subjects. Human trials are pending.

More than 100 rhinoviruses are involved in causing colds, and each is distinctive. These same rhinoviruses are linked to respiratory conditions such as asthma, ear and sinus infections.

The vaccine introduces a broad range of rhinovirus types into the body, giving the immune system an opportunity to design a counterattack. Then the body is prepared to fight the same rhinoviruses when the necessity arises.

During the study, 25 distinct inactivated types of rhinovirus were used on mice, and 50 on the macaques. All the animals responded by producing antibodies targeted at those rhinovirus types.

The researchers did not test the capability of the vaccines to prevent the animals from getting sick in the future. However, follow-up testing proved that antibodies generated by the vaccines were able to block rhinoviruses in human cells in the lab.

Moore is looking forward to the outcome of the human trials. He says enthusiastically, “We think that creating a vaccine for the common cold can be reduced to technical challenges related to manufacturing.”

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Category: Wellness

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