Researchers at Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta are working towards a new vaccine that stops colds.
Emory University Associate Professor Martin Moore says he knows just how frustrating children’s colds can be.
“But then you can’t take them back to daycare. So now you’re stuck out of work. And I thought, you know, if we can manipulate these viruses in the lab, why can’t we come up with something for the common cold?” said Moore.
The common cold is even being classified as lethal by some advocates of the vacccine.
“For children with asthma it can be a very big deal because common cold viruses can trigger major exacerbations of asthma and COPD in adults,” said Moore.
But like the flu, the common cold doesn’t have a common denominator in terms of strains. There are at least 160 various colds. The main issue with flu shots that often fail to prevent flu is the amount of strains. So this is familiar territory.
But Emory University researchers claim to have a solution. They are putting 50 strains into one vaccine shot.
“We tested the 50-strain mix in monkeys and that’s where we saw the antibodies in 49 out of 50. The monkeys responded very well to the vaccine. We were just amazed. We were just jumping up and down,” said Moore.
The researchers are growing cold strains as opposed to taking samples from mucus.
“That’s kind of our bread and butter technique is to make viruses from synthetic DNA,” said Moore.
Researchers are also concerned that producing the vaccine at scale will be a challenge.
“The problem and the real challenge for us going forward would be how to manufacture such a complex vaccine at a large scale and that’s what we’re working on now,” said Moore.
Something tells me they’ll get it done.