Monday, 29 March 2021

Why isn't Canada making COVID-19 vaccines?


Canadians have certainly asked why Canada isn't producing our own COVID-19 vaccines yet - but those studying global trade and virology say it's a tough business, not always profitable and dominated by players already producing at scale. Xiaoli Li has more.

This is a common question: Is COVID-19 caused by a virus or a bacteria?

Answer: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus, NOT by bacteria.

Virulent bacteria exists in this world. The certain ability of bacteria to cause disease is described in terms of the number of infecting bacteria, the route of entry into the body, the effects of host defense mechanisms, and intrinsic characteristics of the bacteria called virulence factors. Many virulence factors are so-called effector proteins that are injected into the host cells by specialized secretion apparati, such as the type 3 secretion system. Host-mediated pathogenesis is often important because the host can respond aggressively to infection with the result that host defense mechanisms do damage to host tissues while the infection is being countered (e.g., cytokine storm).

The virulence factors of bacteria are typically proteins or other molecules that are synthesized by enzymes. These proteins are coded for by genes in chromosomal DNA, bacteriophage DNA or plasmids. Certain bacteria employ certain mobile genetic elements and horizontal gene transfer. Therefore, strategies to combat certain bacterial infections by targeting these specific virulence factors and mobile genetic elements have been proposed. Bacteria use quorum sensing to synchronise release of the molecules. These are all proximate causes of so-called morbidity in the host.

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