COVID-19: New Vaccine to be Tested on Pigs. - LivestockTrend


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Tuesday 7 April 2020

COVID-19: New Vaccine to be Tested on Pigs.

The Pirbright Institute in the United Kingdom has concluded plans to test vaccines to control Corona virus on pigs. 

This plan was made known through a press release by the institute. The article made available affirmed that this move was an effort by the institute to join in battle against the spread of COVID-19.

The choice of pigs as stated is owing to the fact that the pig immune system can be likened to that of humans, hence, a good reaction to the vaccine in pig signals success for the use of vaccines in humans.

The vaccine testing which will be done in collaboration with other researchers at the University of Oxford and Public Health England  and will   be  tested  for their ability to induce protective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. The vaccines will include the chimpanzee Adeno-virus vaccine vector (ChAdOx1) which is soon to enter human phase I clinical trials and has been used to create vaccines for diseases like Ebola, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and flu.
As the news article explained, the vaccine candidates are developed at Oxford University, and will contain the spike protein from SARS-CoV-2, the protein against which protective antibodies are generated in infected patients. 

Pirbright scientists will measure the level of antibodies produced after vaccination of pigs and assess whether the antibodies can block SARS-CoV-2 from infecting cells, thereby preventing infection. If this is successful, human trials of the vaccine will begin, though, use-able vaccines are many months away.

The Pirbright Institute has demonstrated expertise in animal immunology and possesses the modern virological facilities necessary to do this type of work. Pigs have already been used as a major animal model in influenza virus research because pigs have a respiratory system similar to that of humans, are naturally infected with influenza viruses and produce antibodies with characteristics similar to those of humans. So pigs are appropriate model to use in research on Corona virus vaccines. 

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