The Covid-19 jab made by German biopharmaceutical firm CureVac has shown full protection against the South African coronavirus variant and the original form of the virus, according to the results of a preprint study on mice.
Covid-infected mice that were vaccinated demonstrated “robust antibody responses” and developed complete protection against the virus, with a 100% survival rate, researchers said.
The animals were deliberately exposed to the B.1.351 strain of Covid – known as the South African variant – as well as the original form of the virus as part of a preclinical challenge infection study.
German researchers gave the mice two doses of the mRNA-based CureVac jab 28 days apart and found that it “efficiently” blocked and reduced the replication of the virus in the animals.
The study, published in preprint format, used ACE2-transgenic mice, which are common in Covid-19 vaccine research as they exhibit similar responses to humans when infected with the virus.
CureVac’s chief scientific officer, Igor Splawski, said that the risk of more infectious coronavirus variants like B.1.351 pose a major threat to global immunization efforts.
“To our knowledge, this is the first challenge study in a human ACE2 transgenic mouse model of severe disease that shows complete protection against one of the most threatening virus variants,” he said.