U.S. scientists say finding the Achilles heel of all viruses may help develop supervaccines

On February 12th a new study from Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States reported that a “universal lifeline” for antiviral treatment swashes had been found, which could or might help develop a supervaccine. Dr Kate Jeffrey, who lead the research project, said the protein Argonaute 4 (AG04) had been found to be the virus’s “fatal weakness.” The study was published February 12 in the scientific journal Cell Reports.

U.S. scientists say finding the Achilles heel of all viruses may help develop supervaccines

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The study said the protein AGO4 has a unique antiviral properties in mammalian immune cells, and the team studied the antiviral effects of several ago protein families and found that only cells that lack AGO4 are more susceptible to infection.

In theory, Dr. Jeffrey says, people may be significantly reduced to be infected with the virus as long as they know how to use ago4 proteins to increase the body’s resistance. The next step is to determine how resistant the protein is to all viruses.

Dr Jeffrey also said that while more work was needed, it would be an exciting step towards developing a “supervaccine” or fighting the world’s deadliest virus.