Biology

Surprisingly simple common cold vaccine may defend against many strains

Surprisingly simple common col...
Clinical trials on humans are on the way, to help determine if the treatment could lead to a viable vaccine
Clinical trials on humans are on the way, to help determine if the treatment could lead to a viable vaccine
View 1 Image
Clinical trials on humans are on the way, to help determine if the treatment could lead to a viable vaccine
1/1
Clinical trials on humans are on the way, to help determine if the treatment could lead to a viable vaccine

As common as the common cold is, scientists have so far been unable to develop a viable vaccine against it, largely due to the fact that there are over 100 strains of rhinoviruses, the most common cause of the infection. Now, a team at Emory University has used a surprisingly simple technique, mixing multiple types of rhinovirus into one vaccine, and found it stimulated the immune system against all of the included types.

Vaccinating against individual serotypes of rhinovirus is possible, but not very effective since there's very little cross-protection between strains. To combat this, the Emory team simply combined dozens of different serotypes of inactivated rhinovirus into one mixture, and tested the treatment on mice and macaques.

The mice were vaccinated with 25 types, and the macaques with 50. In both cases, the treatment stimulated neutralizing antibodies in the animals' immune systems against all types in each mixture.

"It's surprising that nobody tried such a simple solution over the last 50 years," says Martin Moore, one of the researchers. "We just took 50 types of rhinovirus and mixed them together into our vaccine, and made sure we had enough of each one. If we make a vaccine with 50 or 100 variants, it's the same amount of total protein in a single dose of vaccine. The variants are like a bunch of slightly different Christmas ornaments, not really like 50 totally different vaccines mixed."

The antibodies released by the animals in response to the virus were tested on cultured human cells for their effectiveness in preventing infection, but not for their ability to prevent sickness in animals. Clinical trials on humans are on the way, to help determine if the discovery could lead to a viable vaccine.

"There are no good animal models of rhinovirus replication," says Moore. "The next step would be human challenge models with volunteers, which are feasible because the virus is not very pathogenic."

The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: Emory University

11 comments
Heliotropicsquirrel
Think twice before you vaccinate anybody for anything.
guzmanchinky
This would be amazing. The common cold has got to be the most draining of all diseases on humanity.
EZ
Liposomal Vitamin C will do the same thing and more. Check it out on Youtube. You can make your own. Relatively cheap.
habakak
@Heliotropicsquirrel....sometimes the internet makes people dumber.
eMacPaul
@Heliotropicsquirrel, think twice and then do it. We didn't eliminate measles in the Americas by washing our hands and drinking kombucha.
Grunchy
Who is it against vaccinations? Witches and chiropractors? I'll think twice about visiting Witches and chiropractors, thanks.
Derek Howe
I look forward to a cold-less future.
HerrDrPantagruel
It seems to me that if you can make a vaccine with 50 types of virus, you could make one with all 100. Yes it would be more expensive. But if it weren't just astronomical I bet a lot of people would pay for it. I mean a flu shot is like 20 bucks in the US. If a cold shot was one time only and cost $500 and it worked, people would pay for that. You would be stupid not to pay for that. Even if it only prevented one or two colds a lot of people would still go for it. I had a cold and it turned into sinus infection and it's literally 2-3 months of misery and lost work. Time to end the insanity if at all possible.
Imran Sheikh
good now do the same with HIV with relatively strong test subjects like mongoose or Sarcophilus harrisii
pmshah
There is a lot easier method to prevent cold. Just desensitise your nostrils by doing "Neti Shuddhi", an Indian Yoga method. I used to be extremely sensitive to pollen and dust. When I lived in Chicago in the 70s spring played havoc with me and always had to carry a bottle of neo-synephrine nasal spray with me. After the process I haven't caught a cold in like 20 years.