Vaccine danger? Rare complications after getting a shot could increase severity of COVID-19

covid spikeproteins

Vaccines are designed to produce immune-system agents, including antibodies, that lock onto a virus and thereby neutralize it. In cases of disease enhancement, however, immune agents act in ways that facilitate replication of the virus.

The complication can dangerously increase the severity of the disease in people exposed to the pathogen after they get the shots.

To avoid the complication, coronavirus vaccine researchers have taken steps such as making available high-quality antigens, something the vaccine either delivers to or produces in the body to trigger a desired immune response.

Some researchers have designed antigens based on the “spike” protein found on the surface of the coronavirus, Dr. [Barney] Graham said. The virus uses the spike protein to latch onto human cells and gain entry.

Related article:  Patient asymptomatic in first documented COVID reinfection
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Some vaccines under development contain something resembling the spike protein itself while others carry genetic code instructing the body’s own cells to make that protein.

By focusing on the spike protein, a vaccine could primarily generate enough “neutralizing” antibodies to block the virus, Dr. Graham said, and potentially avoid spawning too many other immune-system agents that may attach to other parts of the virus and are suspected in disease enhancement. He said this will have to be proven in studies.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: The evolutionary history of the COVID-19 coronavirus

Infographic: The evolutionary history of the COVID-19 coronavirus

Reuters analysed over 185,000 genome samples from the Global Initiative on Sharing All influenza Data (GISAID), the largest database of ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...

Most Popular

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend