Team led by Assoc. Prof. Ewelina Król, Ph.D., D.Sc. from Laboratory of Recombinant Vaccines, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG&MUG focuses on the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the phenomenon of antibody-dependent viral infection enhancement (ADE). It occurs when, during an infection or vaccination, weakly neutralising antibodies are produced causing the course of a subsequent infection to enhance. The knowledge on this phenomenon that we possess is what inspired us to address this issue in relation to the SARS-CoV-2 as well. All the more, the literature has confirmed the presence of ADE for other coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV and MERS.
The foremost objective of current research is to acquire knowledge on the role of sugar chains in the Spike surface protein, which will contribute to improving the safety and effectiveness of future vaccines. The second step is to try to develop a vaccine which would be based on the modified Spike protein and produced in the form of virus-like particles. Research project entitled The Path to a Safe Vaccine Against SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus – Modifications of the ‘Spike’ Structural Protein Leading to the Elimination of the ADE Effect is financed by National Science Centre.