aA
A group of Lithuanian and Kurdish scientists have raised a hypothesis that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine could protect children from COVID-19. The hypothesis is based on the discovered sequence similarity of the 30 amino acid residues between glycoproteins of SARS-CoV-2, measles and rubella viruses. An experimental analysis is required in order to support the hypothesis.
Early childhood vaccinations might protect children from COVID-19
© Shutterstock

An ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) has claimed more than 450 thousand lives already; globally, more than 9 million cases of COVID‑19 infection have been confirmed.

According to detailed data of COVID-19-infected patients from China, Italy, and South Korea, the disease is less common and milder in children younger than 10 years of age.

The reasons why children are less susceptible to COVID-19 remain unclear. However, the research carried out at Charmo University in Iraq and at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) in Lithuania, provided evidence that MMR vaccination might be a reason why children have protection against the disease.

The hypothesis is backed up by the sequence similarity data between the SARS-CoV-2 with both measles and rubella viruses.

“The antibodies produced in children due to the MMR vaccine could recognize some protein parts (epitopes) on the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins. These antibodies, particularly in the epithelial layer of respiratory airways, block binding, and entering the virus into the cells”, explains Prof Rimantas Kodzius from KTU Panevezys Faculty of Technology and Business.

SARS-CoV-2 is a single- strand, positive-sense RNA virus. S protein is a key immunogenic protein of SARS-CoV-2 that induces the host immune system; the latter fights off the foreign particles that enter the human body by producing antibodies. Humans are routinely immunized against several viral diseases in early childhood, which usually induces broad immunity against the viral particles.

Immunological principle based on the antibody cross-reaction recognizing antigens in two different microbes inspired the group of scientists lead by Prof Kodzius of KTU, to look for homology sequence searching in SARS-CoV-2 and the viruses that commonly are prevented by vaccination during childhood. It was discovered that 30 amino acid residues share similarities between the Spike (S) glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Fusion glycoprotein of Measles virus as well as with the envelope glycoprotein of the Rubella virus.

“We are the first group to propose children protection through MMR vaccine and to support the claim by sequence homology between SARS-CoV-2 with measles and rubella viruses”, says Prof Kodzius.

According to scientists, recent studies show that the levels of antibodies against MMR vaccination may persist for 15–20 years. Therefore, the protection against COVID-19 could last up to 15–20 years. However, experimental research including testing purified spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 against the polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies of measles and rubella viruses in vivo and in vitro is required in order to support the hypothesis.

Prof Rimantas Kodzius spent a year teaching and researching at The American University of Iraq Sulaimani (AUIS) in Iraq, Kurdistan region, Sulaimani city. That is how his cooperation with the local researchers began.

“In uncertain times like the COVID-19 pandemic, the collaboration yields results. The phone connection, the internet is available, and the work is possible even without travel”, says Prof Kodzius, who has joined KTU in 2018.

DELFI EN
It is forbidden to copy the text of this publication without a written permission from DELFI.

Lithuania forms reserve volunteer company within engineer battalion

Lithuania is forming a new reserve engineer company within its Colonel Juozas Vitkus Engineer...

Three monkeypox cases detected are unrelated

The Ministry of Health stated Friday that three monkeypox cases detected in Lithuania are unrelated...

Beijing describes Fireign Minister's comments on Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as “erroneous”

The Office of the Chargé d'Affaires of the People's Republic of China in Lithuania on Friday...

Prosecutors launch investigation into Paleckis’ organisation

The Prosecutor General’s Office announced on Friday that it has launched a pre-trial investigation...

Health Minister approves procedure for diagnosing and treating gender identity disorder

Lithuanian Health Minister Arunas Dulkys has approved the procedure for diagnosing and treating gender...

Top news

Lithuania forms reserve volunteer company within engineer battalion

Lithuania is forming a new reserve engineer company within its Colonel Juozas Vitkus Engineer...

Seimas committee backs bid to help to Sugihara House

The Lithuanian parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs is in favor of helping the foundation of...

KTU graduate: possibility to choose additional competencies shaped my career

When faced with a need to choose a study path, you might feel confused. Having more than one favourite...

SocDem MP proposes regulating housing rent prices

MP Gintautas Paluckas, Chair of the Social Democratic Political Group in the Seimas, has registered...

LTG offers free train travel for all people fleeing Ukraine from war with Russia

As of 1 August, not only citizens of Ukraine will be able to use free train travel on local routes in...