UTSW Research Finds Potential Weakness in Coronavirus

Scientists are comparing the new virus to past epidemics SARS and MERS.

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified weaknesses in the coronavirus which could be essential to the development of a vaccine and ending the further spread of the deadly disease.

After Chinese scientists made the virus sequences available in January, local researchers compared immune responses to the virus  to the responses of past epidemic viruses severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Mutations are limited at this point, but if scientists can locate SARS and MERS mutations, it could prove valuable to ending the spread.

“Few studies have reported on the immunological features of this new coronavirus. Our analyses in this respect could serve as a reference resource for immunological studies and for potential therapeutics and vaccine development,” says Yang Xie, Ph.D., director of the Quantitative Biomedical Research Center (QBRC) and a professor of population and data sciences and in the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics via release.


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