Audio Interview

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine: current biological targets and considerations

Published on March 31, 2020   8 min

Other Talks in the Series: Research and Clinical Interviews

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Interviewer: Professor Garcia-Sastre, thank you for doing this interview with us today on the new SARS-CoV-2 virus. What is the current knowledge on the molecular biology of this new virus, and how is it helping the development of treatments and vaccinations? Prof Garcia-Sastre: We know a lot about the molecular biology of the virus due to the work has been done before with coronaviruses, the virus replicates very similarly to other coronaviruses. There are some proteins that we know the function of in the virus, some of the proteins are more mysterious because they don't have a specific homology with proteins of other coronaviruses, but for the majority of them we know a lot. We know the surface protein which can be the target of antibodies that will prevent entry, so we know what antigen needs to be included in vaccines thanks to that. We know the virus receptor, so we know what type of animal models we can try to implement that contain the right receptor. There is some knowledge that we already have from this virus, but obviously it takes time to be able to find whether some drugs work for treatment, especially in people that are infected. It also takes some time to develop a vaccine, but we know what the targets are to induce antibodies that are needed for the vaccine. We also know the function of some of the proteins, that's the reason why some of the HIV inhibitors that are protease-inhibitors have been tested with this coronavirus. Coronaviruses have another protease, and therefore potentially an inhibitor of
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SARS-CoV-2 vaccine: current biological targets and considerations

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