Virus Attenuation by Codon-pair Design Optimization

New way to rapidly create an attenuated virus strain suitable as a vaccine

Influenza is an infectious disease that attacks the respiratory system, effecting the nose, throat, and lungs. The flu tends to come on suddenly and 5 to 20% of the population are infected with it every year. New strains of Influenza viruses appear regularly, making flu vaccines important to prevent infection. This invention uses a novel method to create both live and dead vaccines quickly and safely.

Dr. Eckard Wimmer, Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, has developed a new approach to creating vaccines for viral diseases. Using advanced computer algorithms and the redundancy of the genetic code, he designed attenuated virus strains which are identical to the disease agent on the protein level, hence generating an identical immune response, yet are less virulent because of deoptimized translation. This approach can be used to rapidly develop live vaccinestrains for suddenly emerging diseases, as well as create safer strains of killed vaccines.

Rapidly create an attenuated virus strain suitable as a vaccine, given only the genomic sequence of the virus and a reverse-genetics sequence. Suitable for producing safer killed vaccines.

Quickly creating safer strains of both live and killed vaccines

PCT Publication No. WO 2008-121992

Prototype developed and available for testing.

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Synthetic biology, Vaccines 

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