Viral Vaccine Solutions
Delayed innate immune response to respiratory virus infection in elderly allows the virus to propagate and infect large numbers of cells. The rise of an adaptive immune response when the viral burden is high can cause significant tissue damage, as the killer T-cells attempt to eliminate viral infected cells. This tissue damage triggers a “cytokine storm” which shuts off the natural counter-regulatory mechanisms which normally serve to dampen the adaptive response. These conditions provide for a positive feed-back loop of un-regulated immune destruction which leads to local pathology, systemic multiple organ failure and death.
Activation of an early innate immune response is key to preventing high viral burdens and preventing the progression to serious symptoms of viral infection. Our AlloPrime® protocol is designed to elicit rapid clearance of viral infections in the elderly and establishment of protective immune memory against re-infection. The approach first involves alloantigen priming to increase titers of non-exhausted Th1 memory cells which can release interferon-gamma when non-specifically activated by any type of viral infection. This creates an “anti-viral state” which prevents the spread of infection and protects cells from infection.
Poor immune response in elderly to traditional vaccines:
Defective cellular immune responses in the aged population, the most vulnerable population to progression of viral disease, may not have the resident immune capacity to respond to a protective vaccine to viruses like COVID-19, even if one is successfully developed. Viral peptide vaccines must be processed and administered with adjuvant which supports expression on MHCI and MHCII in order to elicit effective cellular immune protective responses upon viral infection. However, even if titers of viral specific Th1/CTL are successfully elicited by vaccination, most viral infected cells down-regulate MHCI molecules to evade immune elimination. In addition, anti-viral drugs can show effectiveness to slow down viral propagation, but do not provide memory to protect against re-exposure to the same or an emergent variant virus stain or to a novel virus with pandemic potenital. In addition, neutralizing antibody vaccines and anti-viral drugs can provide selective pressure for emergence of resistant strains.
Due to these aggravating factors, we propose a novel approach to overcome these vaccine design and treatment barriers in order to provide “universal protection” against viral infections, especially in the elderly. The concept proposes to modulate the immune systems of healthy elderly adults in a manner that ‘primes’ them to respond quickly to any viral infection, overcoming the late innate response and cellular immune suppression common in the elderly immune response to viral infection, especially to the virus causing COVID19. A healthy, properly balanced immune system is able to resolve viral infections quickly before viremia is established. The rapid clearance of the virus will reduce the risk of transmission of the disease to others and prevent viremia, tissue damage, high morbidity and mortality associated with progression of viral disease in elderly. The universl approach will protect against known and unknown viral threats, protecting the vulnerable elderly population from any future pandemic viral outbreak without need for further treatment.