The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has announced they have found a potential vaccine for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
The potential vaccine produced antibodies “specific to SARS-CoV-2 at quantities thought to be sufficient for neutralizing the virus” and has been successful in testing on mice.
“We had previous experience on SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2014,” said co-senior author Andrea Gambotto, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the Pitt School of Medicine. “These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus. We knew exactly where to fight this new virus. That’s why it’s important to fund vaccine research. You never know where the next pandemic will come from.”
Today, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine @PittHealthSci scientists announced a potential vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus causing the #COVID19 pandemic. https://t.co/ILW4IQfou7 pic.twitter.com/Y7l0SifBtn
— UPMC (@UPMCnews) April 2, 2020
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 3,000 deaths in the United States which surpasses the death toll of the September 11 terrorist in New York City — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.