New type pneumonia virus isolation is expected to develop vaccines and therapeutic drugs February 1 16:41

The success of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in isolating and culturing the new coronavirus itself is expected to be a test kit for quick diagnosis, a vaccine that prevents infection by inoculating in advance And the development of therapeutics.

Development of rapid diagnostic kit

Of these, test kits have dramatically reduced the time required to check for infection with the virus, which is currently about 6 hours at the earliest. It is expected that it will be possible to produce results.

Vaccine development

Next is vaccine development.

Viruses are indispensable for making vaccines.

In developing vaccines, we look at whether viruses that have reduced or eliminated toxicity have sufficient effects to activate immunity and prevent infection.

Then, if it is found to be effective, we will conduct clinical trials to actually administer it to humans to confirm its efficacy and safety.

However, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases usually says that it takes "years of time" before a vaccine is developed.

Indeed, vaccines have not been completed for SARS, which was infected by the same coronavirus in 2003 and spread in China and other parts of Asia, and MERS causing severe pneumonia, which continues to spread mainly in the Middle East.

On the other hand, in 2009, when a new strain of influenza spread, imported viruses isolated in the United States and other countries, and two months later, vaccine production began in Japan.

However, influenza only differs in the type of vaccine and virus produced each year, and it is not necessary to start development from the beginning, whereas it is expected that this new coronavirus, which is a completely new virus, will take time. You.

Under these circumstances, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced that it is developing a vaccine for a new coronavirus, and the director of the laboratory, Anthony Fouch, said at a press conference on March 28 that "within three months. Will begin clinical trials to confirm the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. "

In addition, the WHO will seek to determine whether vaccines, etc. being developed as measures against MERS are effective against the new coronavirus, but it is expected that it will take a certain amount of time before it can be actually used. You.

Development of therapeutic drugs

And viruses can help in developing therapeutics.

The cells infected with the new coronavirus isolated and cultured are examined for efficacy by applying drugs and compounds that have been used so far, and if they are found to be effective, they can be administered to humans for safety. And clinical trials to confirm efficacy.

To date, health officials in Beijing, China have reported that pharmacies have been reported in multiple hospitals in China to report that drugs used to prevent the development of AIDS have been effective in treating SARS of the same coronavirus. It means that they are considering taking this drug depending on the patient's condition.

Treatment is

The isolated virus is expected to be useful for testing, treatment, and prevention in the future, but it will take some time before it can be realized.

The new coronavirus does not have any vaccines or silver bullets at present, and responds to "palliative treatment" such as oxygen inhalation and infusion during dehydration.

According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, many people are actually recovering by waiting for patients to gain immunity and shed virus while performing these treatments.

A big step towards developing therapeutics and vaccines

Koichi Morita, director of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, is familiar with infectious diseases. It's a big step.

According to Prof. Morita, the development of therapeutic drugs and vaccines can be done by checking whether drugs used in the treatment of another disease are effective or by developing entirely new drugs and vaccines from scratch. And

This coronavirus is similar to the SARS virus, so it is possible that past research may be helpful, but it will generally take about 10 years to develop completely new drugs and vaccines about it.

Morita commented, "When the highly lethal Ebola hemorrhagic fever spreads in Africa, there are urgent short-term examples of developing vaccines and administering them to people at risk of infection. The extent to which vaccine development will be urgently decided will be determined by closely monitoring trends in infection rates and mortality rates. "