A team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has recently had a breakthrough. As a result of their research into RNA vaccines, the researchers have identified a potential pathway for a stronger immune response, increasing the effectiveness of the vaccine. Plus, the breakthrough could achieve an improved immune response with a lower dosage, all while avoiding the need for adjuvants.
The work done by the scientists from MIT is largely considered revolutionary, and it could completely update how RNA vaccines are developed moving forward. Here’s what you need to know about MIT’s breakthrough.
Redefining RNA Vaccines
RNA vaccines use an RNA strand that’s encoded with a bacterial or viral protein, referred to as an antigen. After successful delivery, the RNA strand is translated into proteins, making it detectable by a person’s immune system. In turn, that leads to the creation of antibodies and T cells, preparing the person’s body to fight the virus or bacteria if they’re later exposed.
Traditionally, RNA vaccines are delivered via injection. However, MIT’s breakthrough is showing that intranasal vaccination could be the better choice. Along with providing a strong immune response, it’s a lower-cost and less invasive option, which could make vaccines more accessible and less intimidating to receive.
Novel Approaches to Immune Enhancement
While intranasal vaccines aren’t inherently new, the approach used by MIT has some distinguishing factors. First, researchers explored intranasal delivery for an RNA vaccine, which is generally considered novel at this time. Additionally, they engineered the vaccine to be self-adjuvanting, a strategy that allows lower vaccine doses to elicit stronger immune responses.
This intranasal and self-adjuvanting approach is a significant breakthrough, and it could fundamentally alter how future RNA vaccines are developed.
During MIT’s research, the scientists explored the resulting immune response based on how the RNA vaccine was delivered. Using the developed technique, MIT researchers were able to secure a stronger immune response with intranasal delivery than a traditional intramuscular approach.
Intranasal vaccination provides several benefits. First, for respiratory conditions, it could kill the virus at the mucus membrane, which may prevent it from taking hold in other parts of the body. Second, administering intranasal vaccines is typically easier, as injections aren’t required.
Expanding the Reach of RNA Vaccines
While MIT’s research is in a relatively early stage, the implications are significant. It could make RNA vaccines for a variety of respiratory diseases significantly more effective. Additionally, the research may expand to include RNA vaccines for other conditions, including cancer vaccines, to see if the effectiveness of the vaccination also improves there.
Ultimately, MIT may have dramatically altered how vaccines are developed moving forward, potentially leading to a lower-cost option that’s easier to administer, including at a broad scale. If you’d like to learn more about MIT’s recent breakthrough or are ready to find a career-boosting lice science job that lets you be at the forefront of new developments, the Staffing Resource Group makes the process simple. Apply Today and SuRGe your career forward.