BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33/FOX 44) – Coronavirus concerns are hitting closer now that Louisiana has its first case of the virus.
Researchers at LSU’s School of Veterinary Medicine are working to stop it.
“It’s highly likely that what we are producing will be quite protective against COVID-19,” Gus Kousoulas, PhD, head of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at LSU said.
Kousoulas said the department’s primary focus is infectious diseases. He added they have already isolated the major genes of the Coronavirus.
Kousoulas said “They are ready to be sent to the Tulane primate center as well as other sites throughout the state to be tested.”
A number of scientists are leading efforts to produce two types of vaccines that will be tested in the next few months. Those tests will be done on mice to see how it affects them.
These researchers also work on vaccines for herpes, the flu and malaria. Their training to work on the Coronavirus is a Catch-22.
Kousoulas said, “We feel proud that we are in this, but you also feel very worried that this particular epidemic will cause substantial economic losses and loss of life.”
Kousoulas explained they hope to have a vaccine ready for the market and available to patients within six months to a year. That’s much sooner than the five to ten years it takes vaccines to be approved.