Scientists from the Vaccine Research Centre at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have developed an experimental vaccine to tackle the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The vaccine yielded positive results in animals which has brought scientists closer to a human vaccine regimen.
The test was conducted in mice and rhesus macaques wherein they were administered doses of the vaccine. The results showed that the vaccinated mice produced broadly neutralising antibodies against multiple strains of MERS coronavirus whereas macaques were protected from severe lung damage at a later stage when they were exposed to MERS coronavirus.
At present the vaccine is designed by determining the structure of the viral protein called the spike glycoprotein which is used by MERS coronavirus to enter cells. The experiment further strengthens the viability of this technique for developing MERS vaccine regimen.