11 Oct 2021

Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine has positive effects against Covid-19

The diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine may have beneficial effects by against Sars-CoV-2 and Covid-19 disease.

The study was carried out, using the immune system simulator called Universal Immune System Simulator (UISS), by the 'Combine' research group directed by Prof. Francesco Pappalardo of the Department of Drug and Health Sciences at the University of Catania and was recently published in 'Briefings in Bioinformatics', leading journal in the field of computational biomedicine.

The research - entitled A multi-step and multi-scale bioinformatic protocol to investigate potential SARS-CoV-2 vaccine targets - shows that, as Prof. Francesco Pappalardo explains, 'a population that has recently had diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccination, for example, a pediatric or pre-adolescent population, has cross-protection against SARS-CoV-2 that could limit its severity'.

"Independent clinical studies have confirmed the prediction of the in silico trial platform," explains Prof. Francesco Pappalardo, who carried out the research together with Giulia Russo, Valentina Di Salvatore, Giuseppe Sgroi, Giuseppe Alessandro Parasiliti Palumbo from the University of Catania, and Pedro Reche from the University of Madrid. The opportunity to echo and resonate the importance of combining bioinformatics software solutions in healthcare, especially in this pandemic situation, lays the foundation for the sustainability of the '3 R' principle, "replace, reduce, refine" in vaccine development and optimally predicting vaccine efficacy."

The European Commission funds the project through the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.

Watch the video of the interview (in Italian)