How to Make Artificial Vaccine Based on Salk Killed Polio Virus Vaccine
A cell has receptors (tubelike protruberances) which can serve as entry points for microbes
An artificial capsule of a shape and size copied from a germ might work as vaccine
By Conrado D. Fontanilla
Is artificial vaccine possible? Yes. But possibility is theoretical in the sense that one can think of it. It is logical. The question should be “what is the probability that an artificial vaccine will work?”
Let us begin with what we know about vaccine. We are familiar with the Salk killed-virus polio vaccine. Since the virus is dead, it is believed that there is no chemical inside it or in its coat that could react with another chemical in the human body. However, since Salk’s killed-polio virus is natural there is a possibility that a chemical remains inside or in the coat that could react.This has not been investigated.
Let us clarify a little bit on the controversy whether a virus is dead or alive. Scientists agree that RNA is a message. A poliovirus is composed of ribonucleic acid (RNA). It infects as RNA, and multiplies as RNA. It is different from a retrovirus that gets inside a human cell as RNA, reconstructs DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) with the use of the DNA of the host cell, controls the DNA of the infected cell and multiplies. The yellow fever virus or dengue fever virus is a retrovirus. The new cell that grows from the infected cell includes a retrovirus component. Virtually, it is a dengue fever virus.
Work on a virus looks complicated, besides a virus is too small. Even through the electron microscope one can only come up a mediated construct of a virus. The technique is by X-ray diffraction and with the use of a mathematical formula one can come up with the shape and size of a virus. If X-ray diffraction is inadequate neutron diffraction technique is employed (Fraenkel-Conrat, H. and R.R. Wagner, eds. Comprehensive Virology, 17 Methods Used in the Study of Viruses. 1981). "Viruses vary in diameter from 20 nanometres (nm; 0.0000008 inch) to 250–400 nm" (Encyclopedia Britannica 2009).
Salk and his team never saw by naked eye the virus they worked on. How did they know that they had poliovirus in their solution? First, they got specimen from a person who had been struck by polio and cultured (grew) it in mashed kidney of monkey. Next, they passed the solution containing cultured virus through the finest porcelain filter that filtered out bacteria. Then, they injected a small amount of the filtered solution, which was clear, to rhesus monkeys. The test monkeys got sick of polio, therefore, the solution had poliovirus.
(We will not get into details such as one can exactly follow in a laboratory and work on virus. We will describe the process enough for some understanding.)
We are after the shape and size of a microorganism that causes disease. I formulated a theory of the Salk killed-virus polio vaccine as follows: "The shape and size of killed poliovirus incite the production of antibodies."
The shape and size of poliovirus is difficult to reproduce being icosahedral in 5-fold, 3-fold and 2-fold symmetry. "Most, if not all, of the polygonal viruses are icosahedral; like a geodesic dome, they are formed by equilateral triangles, in this case 20" (Encyclopedia Britannica 2009). In outline, it is spherical but the coat consists of small triangles. Since virus is too small, let use turn our efforts to something larger like a bacterium.
Take Streptococcus pyogenes, the germ that causes scarlet fever and rheumatic fever that result in rheumatic heart. The shape of Streptococcus is spherical. It appears easy to copy its shape and size. Before we proceed in manufacturing an artificial strep bacterium, we must find out if a killed strep can incite the production of antibodies. (Artificial and synthetic are used synonymously) We must get past a question of whether a strep be killed such that the shape of its capsule is maintained.
If not, we will bypass the use of killed strep and proceed in making a synthetic strep capsule and inject synthetic capsules to monkeys (assuming that monkey is the appropriate test animal). The test animal must be one that contracts scarlet fever or rheumatic fever upon artificial infection with the real S. pyogenes. If the monkeys develop scarlet fever or rheumatic fever our synthetic strep had incited the production of antibodies. The fever lasts only during the production of antibodies when the monkeys’ bodies tried to kill or slow down the perceived strep by body heat.
The immune system (macrophage, T-helper cells, T-killer cells found in white blood cells) mounts a battle against the artificial strep. The macrophage marks the artificial strep with an antigen. The T-killer cell finds the strep by targeting the antigen and produces a weapon against it called antibody. T-cells reproduce very fast by means of cloning; one T cell can turn into millions in a short time. Since the enemies are artificial strep, the macrophages will play the biggest role by wrapping around each strep. The macrophage, a B cell with a load of strep will be ejected from the body. When the immune system will have won most of the T cells and B cells will die off, some will remain alive as Memory cells. These will recognize any foreign body of the same shape and size, whether real or artificial, that will attempt to infect and mount another battle like in the first encounter.
The important events are the production of antibodies against the artificial strep and subsequent conversion of T cells and B cells into Memory cells. The Memory cell is the basis of vaccination.
A T cell originated in the bone morrow, moved to the thymus gland and developed there. A B cell originated in the bone morrow and developed there (Jaret, P. “Our Immune System, the Wars Within.” National Geographic. 1986. June).
Macrophages literally eat microbes, and envelop even asbestos which is like an artificial strep. My Hub "A Theory That Explains Why The Salk Killed-virus Polio Vaccine Works" can give additional information.
After sometime, we get a sample of the blood of monkeys and test for a jump in the production of antibodies against strep. Then inject the same monkeys with the artificial strep. If they don't get sick of scarlet fever or rheumatic fever, the artificial strep works as a vaccine.
Appropriateness of the material used in making synthetic strep capsule must be proven. This means a lot of work that needs financing.
In addition, technologies must be available to make synthetic capsules of strep of the correct shape and size.
In the case of the Salk killed-virus polio vaccine, the shape of the virus and the coat of the virus were natural. Whether killed or live virus would work was a matter of long debate and the results of tests proved the case for each. Both work. However, in the live virus vaccine a weakened virus can mutate into a virulent one and infect another person who was not vaccinated. In one sense it is a carrier of the bug. That is why the live virus vaccine invented by Dr. Albert Sabin was phased out in the United States in 2000 (Kluger, J. Splendid Solution, Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio.2004).
There are still tests to make according to a statistical design. I prefer to use treatment and observed control as classification of test monkeys and of participants when doing the test on human beings. Like Salk, I reject the double blind design which means that neither the nurse who injects the strep nor the subject who gets the shot knows whether the subject is getting the real strep or not. Another design may be that the participant is also the control, still another may be cross-over.
The artificial strep must be tested on a larger number of monkeys. Suppose we make one percent as a criterion, that is, if one gets scarlet fever or rheumatic fever among 100 participants then the artificial strep under test is considered effective.
Assuming that we get a positive result in a larger number of monkeys, we can now proceed to a trial on human beings of a limited number. If we get a positive result, we test the artificial strep on a larger number of people.
The Salk killed-virus polio vaccine was injected on 1.8 million participants in the last stage of trial on human beings. It was 68 percent effective on Type I polio; 100 percent effective on Type II polio; and 92 percent effective and Type III polio. With these results the Salk vaccine was launched for the vaccination of Americans and other peoples of the world.
A vaccine made of synthetic strep capsule is safe for animals and human beings. Yes, an artificial vaccine is possible. Yes, an artificial vaccine will probably work. We need technologies and financing to make an artificial vaccine for specific diseases caused by germs.
New entries as of November 6,2012
We can learn something from the hepatitis B virus and vaccine against it.
Hep B virus consists of DNA encapsuled by a protein coat. This coat can be separated from the DNA. A gene controls the production of this protein coat. This gene was isolated and inserted into a yeast cell that multiplied, multiplying the virus gene as well. Yeast cells with the hep B gene for protein coat are mass produced, harvested; the protein coat separated and used in making hep B vaccine. This vaccine was launched in 1986. This technology is recombinant DNA under biological engineering (Offit, P. A., MD and L.M. Bell, MD. Vaccines: What Every Parent Should Know. 1999).
To recall, the protein coat does not have DNA. It is its size and shape that incite immunization. If it were not produced by a yeast cell this hep B vaccine could be artificial. If a machine could copy this protein coat, in size and shape, then we have an artificial hep B vaccine.
The likes of 3D printer appears to be the machine for this purpose (Nick Hodge. Internet. November 6,2012)