Academic Engagement

Accelerate CMV vaccine research to enable stronger bodily defenses in future pandemics Off Topic

This idea concerns Covid-19. Since the Covid-19 campaign no longer exists here, I have no recourse but to post this idea, and many others, in the five current campaigns which still exist here.

It appears that DHS no longer reviews ideas that are submitted on this site. I hope they will disprove this assumption by communicating with me on each of my ideas and directly address any potential which they may have.

My idea follows.

If a person has contracted Covid-19, it would be ideal if a person's body could fight it off and not progress to a severe illness. The body relies heavily on the thymus in this regard.

The thymus has a major role in the immune system. However, as a person ages, it gradually decreases in size, contributing to the difficulty which older people have in fighting off infections. Furthermore, its status of a defender against infections is significantly impaired if a person had contracted CMV (Cytomegalovirus) at some point during their life. Unfortunately, the majority of the population fits into that boat.

The following links discuss the tremendous damage which CMV does to the thymus and how, as a result, the body's defense against infections, (which would logically include Covid-19), is significantly weakened.

And a contrarian article:

The instinctive action to take with CMV is to develop a vaccine against it. Such efforts are in the works, but nothing has been finalized yet. See the following: ; ; ; ;

If a CMV vaccine came on the market today, it would not make much of an impact on Covid-19 in 2020. But the sooner one is developed, the sooner people in the future will be able to obtain protection and, as a result, maintain their thymus function at a higher level than would a person who had become infected at some point. Therefore, when the next pandemic comes around, a larger number of people in the general population will have significantly stronger immune systems to fight off an infection if they had the opportunity to receive a CMV vaccine..

In light of the strong, indirect effect which a CMV vaccine would have in future pandemics, I propose the following: (1) Research whether or not there are other infectious organisms which can cause the degree of damage which CMV does and if any, its degree of prevalence in the population; (2) Conduct labwork on current hospitalized Covid-19 patients with respect to their CMV (or other organism) status; (3) Have the Federal government devote a significant amount of resources toward a vaccine against CMV; (4) Once a vaccine is available, perform an intense campaign for people to get vaccinated.

Again, this will not have any current effect against Covid-19, but it should pay us back in the next pandemic with fewer severe cases.


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Idea No. 1219