Colombian scientist Manuel Elkin Patarroyo has discovered the chemical properties which will permit the creation of synthetic vaccines to prevent virtually all the existing infectious diseases in the world.
The scientist, who last year discovered a malaria vaccine that is 95% effective, explained the findings of over 30 years of his research in an interview with Spanish news agency EFE released by Caracol Radio after it was published in U.S. magazine Chemical Reviews, giving him the backing of the scientific world.
It is “a list of principles, rules, which when applied can produce vaccines against the various diseases that exist in the world, so we can cover virtually all the 517 infectious diseases,” said Patarroyo.
The scientist found these principles, which can prevent millions of future deaths on the planet, from his first discovery of a malaria vaccine in 1986 and in the following development of a second generation drug which combats the disease in 90% of laboratory tests on monkeys.
In simple terms, the scientist explained that his principles are guided by recognizing and isolating only the parts of the microbe that are attached to a cell, because these are the only parts that serve to develop a vaccine. Then, by creating synthetic proteins identical to those fragments and then changing the order of the components one can create a vaccine.
While the findings of Patarroyo and his team of the Immunology Foundation of Colombia have come from the study of malaria, Patarroyo has shown that these principles serve to counter other infectious ailments.
His latest discovery may be applied to tuberculosis, the human papillomavirus, dengue, hepatitis C or leprosy, among others, which are counted among the more than five hundred infectious diseases, “which annually cause the death of 16 million people,”said the scientist.
The Colombian has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Prince of Viana Prize for Solidarity for his work in vaccine development on March 22, 2011.