One of the problems with getting a long lasting vaccine for COVID-19 is the constant change called mutation which makes it survive existing vaccines. We have heard of alpha, beta, gamma, delta and omicron variants. This constant change occurs mainly on the landing pad of the virus called the epitope which is recognised by the body defence system. When the epitope used to form a vaccine becomes useless through mutation, the vaccine becomes useless because the virus can evade the body defence system. Dr Angus Oli from the department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biotechnology and Dr Nancy Mbachu of the Department of Human Biochemistry, both of  Nnamdi Azikiwe University, in collaboration with researchers from National Biotechnology Development Agency, Lugbe, National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Jos and National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development worked together to create a multi-epitope vaccine candidate from a major capsid protein of the African swine fever virus. The implication is that the vaccine will not easily be rendered useless like through mutation because there are multiple recognition points.

This is a promising development which when exploited could be extended to solving the current COVID-19 problem that is ravaging the world especially China and some other Western countries. This ground breaking research was published on line in Veterinary Vaccine, on the 7th of January, 2022.

Congrats to Dr Angus Oli and Dr Nancy Mbachu for this ground breaking research.

For Further reading https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S277253592300001X