COVID Breakfast…MS research diverted elsewhere


COVID-19 has diverted resources away from MS research and it has diverted people away from MS research….Who knows what the consequences will be. Many people could not get in labs unless they did COVID work, and some weren’t allowed in until they had got grants to do COVID work, others were allowed to spend their grants on covid work. Some people worked on COVID so they could do their other stuff and some peoples seemed to carry-on regardless. It has been tough to pick up the pieces between Wave 1 & 2 and we wonder if ProfG will have to get his scrubs on again. Remyelination gurus have focused their attention on the MMR vaccine due to COVID.

Adam Young, Bjoern Neumann, Rocio Fernandez, Alexis Joannides, Amir Reyahi, Yorgo Modis Robin Franklin Homologous protein domains in SARS-CoV-2 and measles, mumps and rubella viruses: preliminary evidence that MMR vaccine might provide protection against COVID-19. BioRXiv doi:

The COVID-19 disease is one of worst pandemics to sweep the globe in recent times. It is noteworthy that the disease has its greatest impact on the elderly. Herein, we investigated the potential of childhood vaccination, specifically against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), to identify if this could potentially confer acquired protection over SARS-CoV-2. We identified sequence homology between the fusion proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and measles and mumps viruses. Moreover, we also identified a 29% amino acid sequence homology between the Macro (ADP-ribose-1-phosphatase) domains of SARS-CoV-2 and rubella virus. The rubella Macro domain has surface-exposed conserved residues and is present in the attenuated rubella virus in MMR. Hence, we hypothesize that MMR could protect against poor outcome in COVID-19 infection. As an initial test of this hypothesis, we identified that 1) age groups that most likely lack of MMR vaccine-induced immunity had the poorest outcome in COVID-19, and 2) COVID-19 disease burden correlates with rubella antibody titres, potentially induced by SARS-CoV2 homologous sequences. We therefore propose that vaccination of at risk age groups with an MMR vaccination merits further consideration as a time-appropriate and safe intervention.

“SARS-CoV2 infection had raised levels of rubella IgG to a level in keeping with secondary rubella, implying that infection gives cross-reactive protection. They suggest that MMR will not prevent COVID-19 infection but could potentially reduce poor outcome. So will the anti-VAXErs suffer the consequence of not vaccinating their children? Another legacy in additon to the rise of measles….however but worth thinking about when the COVID-19 virus vaccine arrives.

As a recipient of rubella in my youth, is that going to save the day or is it a ticking clock until problems happen? Then no more MS research. We are at 65,000 COVID-19 papers, over a 1,000 on masks. Do we need twenty papers telling us how to wash an N95 masks? No we need MS research because if we dont get it nothing will change.

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