How rare disease studies help to find COVID-19 vaccine

Scientists from the University of Manchester have identified parts of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strain that activate the immune response. This study will help vaccine developers create a drug that can accurately see the “target” – the weaknesses of the virus.

In a study that began before the pandemic, scientists analyzed the overall immune response in patients with musculoskeletal dermatomyositis. And then it turned out that the data obtained could be useful for studying coronavirus.

The fact is that dermatomyositis, a severe progressive systemic disease of connective tissue, skeletal and smooth muscles, causes inflammation and affects the lungs, heart and skin.

Although scientists do not know the cause of this ailment, they understand that genetic and environmental factors, such as viral or bacterial infections, can contribute to its occurrence.

The team used a new method for detecting antibodies produced by the immune system against all types of infections that were unique in people with dermatomyositis. This gave a clue how microbial infections can contribute to the disease over time.

Identification of antibodies against coronaviruses in individuals with dermatomyositis does not necessarily mean that the virus causes the disease. However, three specific sites of bat coronavirus proteins that stimulated the immune response were very similar to the human SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 disease, scientists write.
Presumably, the new coronavirus got to the person from bats, causing the global pandemic COVID-19, so the authors of the new work decided to conduct a study of antibodies produced against coronaviruses.

A comparison of 20 people with dermatomyositis and 20 healthy people shed some light on the immune response against coronaviruses. These results may help vaccine makers, experts say.
Several risk factors are likely to contribute to the development of dermatomyositis, including the human immune system and genetic susceptibility. Thus, it is impossible to find out if coronavirus causes dermatomyositis.

However, scientists managed to find weaknesses in the structure of the virus, which could be hit by a potential vaccine.

By Cindy
In Other
May 30, 2020

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