A newly discovered mechanism of how a kind of virus called Ad26 enters human cells can shed light to vaccine development to protect against life-threatening infections, according to new research.
The virus, Adenovirus type 26 (Ad26), has been used effectively in a tamed form as a vaccine. It can cause severe respiratory distress and even death in vulnerable patients, but is, meanwhile, a key component in new vaccines to fight deadly diseases for its infection ability to human cells.
Previously believed to be capable of infecting the cells through a protein called CD46, researchers from Cardiff University's School of Medicine have recently discovered that it uses a type of sugar commonly found on the surface of most cells to enter and infect human cells, and that the previous belief is “extremely unlikely.”
Further studies in the mechanism of Ad26 infecting human cells can help develop more effective vaccines to fight infectious diseases including cancer, the researchers believe.
"We know that an Ad26 based vaccine is already showing promise in life-threatening infections, like Ebola.
"However, until now, there is little, if any, understanding of the virus works as a vaccine or as a disease. Our research provides new answers.” Said the lead researcher Alexander Baker.