Citation: Classen JB. COVID-19 RNA Based Vaccines and the Risk of Prion Disease;
Microbiol Infect Dis. 2021; 5(1): 1-3. ISSN 2639-9858
Development of new vaccine technology has been plagued with problems in the past. The current RNA based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines were approved in the US using an emergency order without extensive long term safety testing.
In this paper the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was evaluated for the potential to induce prion-based disease in vaccine recipients. The RNA sequence of the vaccine as well as the spike protein target interaction were analyzed for the potential to convert intracellular RNA binding proteins TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43) and Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) into their pathologic prion conformations.
The results indicate that the vaccine RNA has specific sequences that may induce TDP-43 and FUS to fold into their pathologic prion confirmations.
In the current analysis a total of sixteen UG tandem repeats (ΨGΨG) were identified and additional UG (ΨG) rich sequences were identified. Two GGΨA sequences were found. Potential G Quadruplex sequences are possibly present but a more sophisticated computer program is needed to verify these. Furthermore, the spike protein, created by the translation of the vaccine RNA, binds angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a zinc containing enzyme. This interaction has the potential to increase intracellular zinc.
Zinc ions have been shown to cause the transformation of TDP-43 to its pathologic prion configuration.