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Spike Protein Behavior

May 05, 2021 4:01 AM ETPFE, BNTX, MRNA, JNJ, AZN, NVAX24 Comments
Derek Lowe profile picture
Derek Lowe


  • There's been a recent report about the vascular effects of the Spike protein alone (not coronavirus infection per se), and another presentation on similar effects in lung tissue.
  • The pseudovirus paper notes near the end that the antibody response generated by vaccination against the Spike protein will be beneficial in two ways, against infection and against the Spike-mediated endothelial damage as well.
  • So the reports of Spike protein trouble are interesting and important for coronavirus infection, but they do not mean that the vaccines themselves are going to cause similar problems.

Coronavirus covid-19 vaccine
Photo by jonathanfilskov-photography/E+ via Getty Images

I've been getting a lot of questions in the last few days about several Spike-protein-related (and vaccine-related) topics, so I thought this would be a good time to go into them. There's been

This article was written by

Derek Lowe profile picture
Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek, email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com (mailto:derekb.lowe@gmail.com)

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Comments (24)

Spike Proteins From mRNA Vaccines Found Circulating In Blood After Vaccination: "Data have demonstrated the elicitation of binding and neutralization antibodies against the spike protein by the mRNA-1273 vaccine in humans, thereby inferring that spike protein was produced and induced an immune response2–5. However, critical data demonstrating the direct production of spike protein via translation from the mRNA-1273 vaccine in these studies are missing, precluding a full understanding of the vaccine mechanism.
Here, we provide evidence that circulating SARS-CoV-2 proteins are present in the plasma of participants vaccinated with the mRNA-1273 vaccine. We report antigen and serological data of the mRNA-1273 vaccine in 13 healthcare workers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Ultrasensitive single-molecule array (Simoa) assays were used for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigens spike (S1-S2 unit), S1, and nucleocapsid and antibodies IgG, IgA, and IgM against SARS-CoV-2 spike, S1, receptor binding domain (RBD), and nucleocapsid, as previously described6,7. The ultralow detection limits of the Simoa assays enable detection of antigen and antibody production in the early stages post vaccination and quantification of changes in levels over the course of both vaccine injections." watermark.silverchair.com/... Clinical Infectious Diseases, doi.org/...
Published: 20 May 2021
edaskew profile picture
@hhluce Interesting. Not unexpected. The spike protein disappeared when antibodies appeared (they cleared the spike proteins). One person had a detectable spike protein the day after the second shot, but for all the other participants, none was detectable, and no one had detectable spike protein after day 29. This shows the vaccine simulates a real viral infection (really two back to back infections), which is why it is so effective, and probably will be proven superior to natural immunity. Thanks for posting.
@hhluce and @Derek Lowe think the authors needed to recognize that antigen and serological tests do not distinguish between native protein (the complete three-dimensional structure of the native spike) and a circulating moiety encoded by the vaccine which has similar immunological attributes to the native spike. Binding of these "psuedoproteins" to ACE-2 receptors may not cause cell damage. Has this been studied? That could be another reason why the M-RNA induced "pseudoprotein" does not cause COVID-like symptoms.
edaskew profile picture
@pauliel oh, but the vaccines do cause Covid symptoms. Fever, myalgias, I had myself. A couple of people I work with who had Covid earlier lost their sense of taste and smell briefly after the first shot. Nothing serious and we were glad to have such reactions.
Gary Jakacky profile picture
EVERYONE!!!! Please send copies of this article to every bio-and-envirowhackjob that you know.
@Gary Jakacky

NOOOOOOOO!! you'll crash the innterTubes. there's billions of them.
Based on this information, what potential issues might be encountered with the Novavax vaccine, since it is a direct IM injection of a spike protein?
Vikdan profile picture
It's interesting how AZN's vaccine seems to make a lot more people "sick" with flu like symptoms and fever compared to Pfizer's and Moderna's.
sierranvin profile picture
A tip of the cap for your intelligent series of articles on mRNA vaccines and Moderna!
edaskew profile picture
Also, there's going to be a whole lot less spike protein around after a vaccination than in a real infection, since the vaccine isn't able to replicate itself. So, there's just not enough of it to do any harm.
Nice article. I appreciate your background and the knowledge you have to explain how these vaccines work.
Our body is also fighting against this spike protein (humoral immunity offers by injectables) and eventually degrades the spike protein with a course of 6 to 12 months, so we need a booster doses in every 6 months for to keep up the same level of humoral immunity.
The new study shows if we activate mucosal immunity, application of oral vaccine and the spike protein attached to AC2 receptor in intestine which activates mucosal immunity (IGA memory cells and T cells) which protect the host (we human) at the point of entry-level to fight the pathogens, just like oral polio vaccine. This mucosal immune system once activated we can find the B lymphocytes memory cells and T cells life long in the mucosal area (nasal fluids, lung, oral -saliva and in intestinal fluids) for life long.
We have to expedite these oral vaccination techniques to save the humanity from the current pandemic and future ones.
@johnbob100 apparently the flu virus was eradicated by these social distancing and masks despite decades of flu shots. Who is to say such an easy solution is not obtainable for corona?

yeah but... the Trumpsters and Godnuts demand their 'freedoms' to do no such things. if you read up the 1918 flu pandemic, long before vaccines or drugs were available, those were the tools. even with Covid-19, those places that took such simple tools seriously have had, relative to population density of course, much better results. Red States = Bad. Blue States = mostly better. IOW, there's no cure for stupid.
The flu virus was not eradicated, it was just highly suppressed. It will be back next winter after we quit wearing masks.
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