Coronavirus – Disease, Medical Sciences Involved & Preventive Measures

What are mRNA Vaccines?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : mRNA Vaccines

Mains level : Vaccine development for COVID

 

A Pune-based bio-pharma company is currently is likely to develop India’s first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

What is mRNA?

  • Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a single-stranded RNA (Ribo Nucleic Acid) molecule that is complementary to one of the DNA strands of a gene.
  • The mRNA is an RNA version of the gene that leaves the cell nucleus and moves to the cytoplasm where proteins are made.
  • During protein synthesis, an organelle called a ribosome moves along the mRNA, reads its base sequence, and uses the genetic code to translate each three-base triplet, or codon, into its corresponding amino acid.

What are mRNA vaccines?

  • Such vaccines make use of the messenger RNA molecules that tell the body’s cells what proteins to build.
  • The mRNA, in this case, is coded to tell the cells to recreate the spike protein of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19.
  • It is the spike protein — which appears as spikes on the surface of the coronavirus — that initiates the process of infection; it allows the virus to penetrate cells, after which it goes on to replicate.
  • A coronavirus vaccine based on mRNA, once injected into the body, will instruct the body’s cells to create copies of the spike protein.
  • In turn, this is expected to prompt the immune cells to create antibodies to fight it.
  • These antibodies will remain in the blood and fight the real virus if and when it infects the human body.

What are other types of vaccine?

(1) Vector vaccine:

  • In this type of vaccine, genetic material from the COVID-19 virus is placed in a modified version of a different virus (viral vector).
  • When the viral vector gets into your cells, it delivers genetic material from the COVID-19 virus that gives your cells instructions to make copies of the S protein.
  • Once your cells display the S proteins on their surfaces, your immune system responds by creating antibodies and defensive white blood cells.
  • If you later become infected with the COVID-19 virus, the antibodies will fight the virus.

(2) Protein subunit vaccine:

  • Subunit vaccines include only the parts of a virus that best stimulate your immune system.
  • This type of COVID-19 vaccine contains harmless S proteins.
  • Once your immune system recognizes the S proteins, it creates antibodies and defensive white blood cells.
  • If you later become infected with the COVID-19 virus, the antibodies will fight the virus.

Back2Basics: Ribo Nucleic Acid (RNA)

  • RNA is an important biological macromolecule that is present in all biological cells.
  • It is principally involved in the synthesis of proteins, carrying the messenger instructions from DNA, which itself contains the genetic instructions required for the development and maintenance of life.
  • In some viruses, RNA, rather than DNA, carries genetic information.
  • The type of RNA dictates the function that this molecule will have within the cell.
  • Aside from the coding region of messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules that will be translated into proteins, other cellular RNA elements are involved in different processes.

 

UPSC 2022 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments