Wageningen World: Making Covid-19 proteins with insect cells

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Wageningen World: Making COVID-19 proteins with insect cells

Published on
June 16, 2020

Wageningen scientists are collaborating in the worldwide quest for a vaccine against COVID-19. They are joining forces with several partners whom they’ve worked with before. The collaboration previously primarily focused on diagnostic tests and vaccines against chikungunya and Zika, two tropical viral diseases. ‘We now want to apply the same strategies to COVID-19’, says Gorben Pijlman of the Laboratory of Virology.

‘In our lab we manufacture protein fragments that are found on the outside surface of the virus. These are the spikes you can see, and we produce the spikes that are specific to the coronavirus.’ The idea is that our immune system recognizes those spikes as foreign and starts producing antibodies against them. If ever the complete virus then enters the body, the spikes on the virus will immediately spark off an immune response.

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