CRISPR Powered Virus-Busting Antibodies
In a revolutionary discovery scientist with the help of CRISPR cas9 have developed virus killing antibodies against lethal diseases which cannot be prevented with vaccines.
The research study was conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle in the US by a team of scientists led by Justin Taylor. They say that this groundbreaking technology can be used to the battle a range of deadly viruses like influenza, HIV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus – RSV & EBV-Epstein Barr Virus. The findings of the study were published in Science Immunology journal.
CRISPR was used in the study, to change human B-cells genetic code to produce antibodies virus which cannot be treated with vaccines to date.
CRISPR-modified mouse B-cells were introduced into healthy mice to confirm if the improvised B-cells could fight of RSV. The mouse was then exposed to a large dose of RSV up through nostrils. After five days, lung samples were then tested and to their suprise, no traces of RSV was found.
The vaccine comprises of a small dose of the disease itself that triggers the immune system to take action against the invading foreign particles. But Vaccines fail to prove effective in some illnesses.
First RSV vaccine trial in 1966 killed two infants and the second trial went ineffective again in 2016.
HIV is another threat to humans for which scientists have been on a vaccine – treatment hunt since the 1980s. Vaccines have seen to be ineffective in sick people and the elderly whose immune system is weakened.
Hence the researchers conducted a study on mice with engineered B-cells that are devoid of immune cells. After a span of 82 days, the cells were seen to be producing ample antibodies to seal the mice from RSV infection.
The production of these CRISPR Powered Virus-Busting Antibodies could altogether give a new dimension to the entire research methodology being followed currently to tackle these lethal diseases.