The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine can protect children from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to a new hypothesis from researchers at Kaunas University of Technology.
COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), claimed more than 450,000 lives worldwide. According to a press release, more than 9 million confirmed cases have been reported in the world. Data from COVID-19 patients from Italy, China, and South Korea show that the virus is less common and less common in children under 10 years old.
The reasons why the virus has a lesser effect on children are unclear. However, new research by a group of Lithuanian and Kurdish scholars suggests that vaccines for young children protect children. According to the press release, the key may lie in the similarity of the sequence of 30 amino acid residues between the glycoproteins of SARS-CoV-2 virus, measles virus and rubella. Experimental analysis is necessary in order to support the hypothesis of researchers.
“Antibodies produced in children through the MMR vaccine can recognize some protein parts (epitopes) on the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins. These antibodies, especially in the epithelial layer of the respiratory tract, block the binding and penetration of the virus into the body cells”, – said in a press release, Doctor of Technical Sciences, professor of the Department of Technology and Business of KTU Panevezys Rimantas Kojius.
According to a press release, recent studies have shown that anti-MMR vaccination antibody levels can last between 15 and 20 years. This means that protection against COVID-19 can last up to 20 years, but additional studies are needed to support this hypothesis, according to the authors of the study.
“In uncertain times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, collaboration is yielding results. Telephone, Internet are available, and work is possible even without travel, ”said Kojius.