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Researchers create a 100% effective mRNA vaccine for dangerous bacteria

For the first time, a team of Tel Aviv University and Israel Institute for Biological Research researchers created an mRNA-based vaccine that is 100% effective against a type of bacteria that is lethal to humans. The study, which was carried out in an animal model, revealed that all treated animals were completely protected against the bacteria. According to the researchers, their new technology will allow for the rapid development of effective vaccines for bacterial diseases, including those caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, in the event of a new pandemic.

Dr. Edo Kon of Tel Aviv University and Prof. Dan Peer, VP for R&D and Head of the Laboratory of Precision Nano-Medicine at the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer, led the study.

The researchers explain that viruses require external (host) cells to reproduce. A virus uses our cells as a factory for producing viral proteins based on its own genetic material, essentially replicating itself, by inserting its own mRNA molecule into a human cell. This same molecule is synthesized in a lab and then wrapped in lipid nanoparticles that mimic the membrane of human cells in mRNA vaccines. When we inject the vaccine into our bodies, the lipids adhere to our cells, causing the cells to produce viral proteins.

As the immune system becomes acquainted with these proteins, it learns how to protect our bodies in the event of actual virus exposure.

“Because viruses produce their proteins inside our cells, the proteins translated from the viruses.”