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Uncleavable Spikes: Key to Better SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines

New research from Japan shows hamsters inoculated with spike gene mutants that lack the protease cleavage site are resistant to subsequent infection with both the parent strain and emerging alpha (UK/B.1.1.7) and gamma (Brazil/P.1) SARS-CoV-2 variants.

“SARS-CoV-2 spike gene mutants may be used as immunogens for live-attenuated vaccines, similar to the current yellow fever vaccine,” says Hirofumi Sawa, PhD, MD, principal investigator of the new study and scientist in the Division of Molecular Pathobiology, International Institute for Zoonosis Control, at Hokkaido University, in Sapporo Japan, and in One Health Research Center at Hokkaido University.

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