Magdalena Plebanski, a professor of Immunology at RMIT University, said the development was exciting and showed the UQ team was a potential contender in the race to find an effective and safe vaccine.
“But it’s early days and we still don’t know whether it will induce an immune response in humans,” she said.
What impressed her about the UQ study was that the team were looking to accelerate the process of getting a viable vaccine into the community.
“They are thinking about the next step, about scale-up and production and they have shown scale-up is possible,” Plebanski said.
She also said demonstrating hamsters could be used as animal models was an exciting new development.
Plebanski said the researchers had shown the pathology in the hamster lungs was similar to that in human patients, and the animals could be used to test new interventions and vaccines.
“It looks promising. Thus far, all the signs are good,” she said.
“As to which is going to offer the best protection, it’s still too early to know.”