About 3 million Russians suffer from a disease that is considered incurable – hepatitis C.
Despite the fact that over the past few years, the incidence in the country has decreased, about 15 thousand people die from the effects of chronic hepatitis C every year.
The main danger of the disease is in its asymptomatic course. According to the WHO, only 20% of those infected will find out in time about the diagnosis.
The rest do it until the moment when it is too late to go to the doctor. A mass vaccination could be the solution to the problem, but there is currently no vaccination.
Therefore, scientists from different countries, including Russia, are working to solve this problem.
Since 2015, a synthetic peptide vaccine against hepatitis C has been developed at the VN Orekhovich Research Institute of Biomedical Chemistry. It is based on artificially created peptide constructs that contain parts of the E2 protein of the hepatitis C virus. This protein is unique in that its antibodies are not detected in all patients, that is, the immune system for some reason does not recognize it.
In experiments on laboratory animals, these peptide fragments worked perfectly.
They forced the body of mice and rats to produce antibodies capable of binding viral envelope proteins. That is, the rodent immune system is activated.
Moreover, the scientists thus obtained antibodies were tested on the hepatitis C virus, extracted from the blood plasma of five sick people. They were also effective against “human” viral particles.
The authors say that if they succeed in choosing the right adjuvant — a complex of substances that boosts the immune response, the antigen dose, route and route of administration — then the resulting drug will be effective precisely against those types of hepatitis C that are common in Russia.