Inhalable Phage based COVID-19 vaccines spray may be available to the population in the near future

Good news for individuals who simply can’t withstand being injected with a needle. Scientists from Northeastern University, Rice University, and Rutgers University and elsewhere have come up with an inhalable phage-based COVID-19 vaccine that could be even more effective than injectable ones. In fact, it is believed that it could contribute to the easy distribution of vaccines around the world as it’s easy to produce, easy to ship, easy to administer,” says Paul Whitford, associate professor of physics at Northeastern University. Such an inhalable COVID-19 vaccine wouldn’t require the precise refrigeration of existing inoculations and could be dispersed more easily to rural and remote communities. “You just need basic instructions on how to use an inhaler.

The researchers hope that like other vaccines administered to the throat; their the development will spark an immune system response as soon as the infection is inhaled. Foundation research on mice shows that an inhalable vaccine is 25 times more effective than one injected into a muscle. That’s because sending the vaccine directly onto mucosal membranes like those found in the mouth, nose, throat, and lungs can get immune system cells, or T cells, to be ready to attack an infection where it lands.

The team’s vaccine strategy uses modified bacteriophage particles to deliver instructions to the immune system via the lungs to develop a protective response to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Bacteriophage particles (or phage particles for short) are viruses that infect bacteria but are safe for humans and have been used to treat bacterial infections in humans for a century. Phages behave like the rest of the viruses having both living and non-living characters and they can elicit the human immune response despite having no pathogenicity to the human body.

The phage particles have been modified to contain a spike protein together with a small ligand peptide, which assists the bacteriophage to cross from the lungs into the patient’s bloodstream, The idea is to deliver these parts of the virus to the body’s immune system, In the bloodstream, where the phage particles will teach the immune system to guard the system against COVID-19.

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