Auburn University assistant professor to test COVID-19 vaccine candidates

Alabama

Leading a team of researchers, Dr. Constantinos Kyriakis, assistant professor in the Department of Pathobiology in Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine, will soon begin testing SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates in swine to determine if the vaccine can trigger the required immune response to combat the novel coronavirus. (Photo from Auburn University)

AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – An Auburn University assistant professor will begin testing new vaccine candidates that could help protect against COVID-19 and the spread of coronavirus.

Dr. Constantinos Kyriakis, an assistant professor in Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine is working with Professor Ted Ross, the director of the Center for Vaccines and Immunology at the University of Georgia to being animal trials for different vaccines aimed at fighting SARS-CoV-2.

Ross’ research team is designing and creating different vaccine candidates as part of an international effort to fight the disease that has already infected over one million people, according to AU officials.

The university says Kyriakis and a team of Auburn veterinary medicine researchers will test the vaccine candidate’s ability to trigger an immune response in pigs, both alone and in combination with other ingredients or “adjuvants.”

Adjuvants are often used to help create a greater immune response from vaccines, according to the university.

“Mass vaccinations will help build what is known as ‘herd immunity,’ the cornerstone of infectious disease control,” said Kyriakis. “This will not only protect individuals from SARS-CoV-2 infection and reduce virus spread, but it will protect the entire community and, importantly, high risk groups such as the elderly and people with preexisting health conditions.”

Auburn says they have several faculty members from the College of Veterinary Medicine working on items related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those faculty study links between animal and human health across multiple fields and clinical practices.

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