Colds pose an economic strain on society each year in the form of missed days at work or school and medical attention.
Rhinovirus is responsible for approximately 75% of all common cold cases, but efforts to create an effective rhinovirus vaccine have fallen short because there are nearly 100 antigenically distinct rhinovirus strains. However, in a recent issue of Expert Review of Vaccines, researchers discussed the potential for a rhinovirus vaccine and argued that an effective vaccine isn’t out of the question.
A feasible rhinovirus vaccine would only cover some of the myriad different serotypes. Live vaccines tend to deliver more effective coverage, but they are unlikely to deliver broad immunity that can cover all serotypes.
A subunit vaccine with an adjuvant would instead be ideal for the rhinovirus vaccine, the researchers noted. Unfortunately, adjuvants licensed for use in human vaccines do not evoke the correct pattern of immune response needed to target viral diseases like rhinovirus.
Results of recent studies have shown that layered double hydroxides are potential adjuvants, as they are similar in composition to the adjuvants used in other existing vaccines. Layered double hydroxides have the potential to drive the Th1 and Th2 responses needed to eradicate viral illness.
Recent developments have identified the rhinovirus capsid proteins VP1 and VP0 as potential subunit immunogens worthy of inducing an immune response to rhinovirus. The VP0 and VP1 regions of the rhinovirus represent a possible candidate for a subunit vaccine, but further investigation of these capsid proteins is necessary.
Ultimately, the ideal combination for a rhinovirus vaccine would include an adjuvant that can induce a large Th1 response and an immunogen that protects against approximately 100 rhinovirus serotypes.
The study authors did not indicate when a vaccine for rhinovirus might be developed, but they also did not dismiss its possibility as other researchers have done in the past.