Just to bring a bit of positive work to your attention, an article in this week’s Science describes a potentially new vaccine technique that may be a broad spectrum approach to coronaviruses.
Abstract: Protection against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and SARS-related emergent zoonotic coronaviruses is urgently needed. We made homotypic nanoparticles displaying the receptor bindingdomain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 or co-displaying SARS-CoV-2 RBD along with RBDs from animal betacoronaviruses that represent threats to humans (mosaic nanoparticles with four to eight distinct RBDs). Mice immunizedwith RBD nanoparticles, but not soluble antigen, elicited cross-reactive binding and neutralization responses. Mosaic RBD nanoparticles elicited antibodies with superior cross-reactive recognition of heterologous RBDsrelative to sera from immunizations with homotypic SARS-CoV-2–RBD nanoparticles or COVID-19 convalescent human plasmas. Moreover, after priming, sera from mosaic RBD–immunized mice neutralized heterologouspseudotyped coronaviruses as well as or better than sera from homotypic SARS-CoV-2–RBD nanoparticle immunizations, demonstrating no loss of immunogenicity against particular RBDs resulting from co-display. Asingle immunization with mosaic RBD nanoparticles provides a potential strategy to simultaneously protect against SARS-CoV-2 and emerging zoonotic coronaviruses.
Cohen et al., Science 371, 735–741 (2021) 12 February 2021