Researchers at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have come up with a single dose vaccine in order to fight Polio. Normally, inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) has to be administered at least 2 to 3 times within an interval of a couple of months. This needs to be done so that the individuals can be protected from this disease. Still, as far as the healthcare industry of the world is concerned it has been seen time and again that healthcare workers are finding it hard to reach the people in order to administer multiple booster shots of the IPV.
This is where a nanoparticle vaccine is thought to be helpful as far as eliminating polio is concerned. This new vaccine being talked about over here is capable of administering several doses in a single shot. This has made it really easy for kids to be immunized in remote areas such as in Pakistan where this disease is highly prevalent.
According to Ana Jaklenec, one of the senior authors of said paper as well as a research scientist working at Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, MIT, the main aim behind developing this vaccine was to make sure that everyone around the world could be immunized.
She has also pointed out how in some developing countries, which are hard to get to, children do not get all the shots they need in order to be completely inoculated against the disease.
The new vaccine is supposed to make the process of immunization a lot easier than what it was earlier. This new product basically encapsulates IPV at PLGA (poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid)), which is a sort of biodegradable polymer. The thing with PLGA is that it might degrade after a certain amount of time.
These polymer microspheres are supposed to let the vaccine be discharged in a couple of unique bursts. In this case, the researchers used positively charged polymers so that there could be no impact of the byproducts and lactic acid on the virus.Stephany Tzeng, an erstwhile postdoctoral student at MIT, says that there is always a certain amount of vaccine that gets left on the surface. It could also be located pretty close to the particle’s surface as well. As soon as this bit is put in the body the material that was there on the surface just diffuses away. That is supposed to be the initial burst over here.
She says further that after this the particles sit at the site that has been subjected to the injection. With the passage of time, the polymer gets degraded and the vaccine is released. This release also happens at points of time that happen to be predetermined. The time is however dependent on the rate at which the polymer degrades.
In this case, the researchers have designed particles that are capable of delivering the first burst at the time the injection is being administered.
The second launch normally happens 25 days after this. In the beginning, the particles were administered to rats. After this, the blood samples of the immunized rats were sent to the Centers for Disease Control so that they could be analyzed.
The investigation showed that the blood samples of rats immunized by this single injection vaccine showed an antibody response to the polio virus that was either as strong as radicals taken from rats who had been administered a couple of shots of the Salk polio vaccine.
In some cases the response was found to be stronger as well. As far as delivery over 2 doses is concerned the researchers have said that they would be able to design particles that can discharge two shots in gaps of a month. They can fuse these with particles that discharge at injection followed by 2 weeks later. This would make it 3 general doses at the space of a month each.
The polymers that the researchers used to make the vaccines have already been approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration). This means that very soon these vaccines would be taken to clinical trials for the purpose of testing them.