Navigation Links
Einstein scientists move closer to a safer anthrax vaccine
Date:9/4/2009

September 4, 2009 - (BRONX, NY) - Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have identified two small protein fragments that could be developed into an anthrax vaccine that may cause fewer side effects than the current vaccine.

The research is significant because anthrax is considered a major bioterrorism threat. The current anthrax vaccine is intended mainly for members of the armed forces serving in areas considered high risk and for individuals involved in homeland biosecurity.

"Our research was motivated by the fact that the current anthrax vaccine has significant limitations and there is great need for a better one," says lead author Nareen Abboud, Ph.D., an Einstein postdoctoral fellow and lead author of the study, which appears in the current issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry. The study's senior author is Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D., Leo and Julia Forchheimer Professor and chairman of microbiology & immunology.

Anthrax, a disease caused by the bacterial species Bacillus anthracis, occurs when anthrax spores (the microbe's dormant stage) are inhaled, ingested or enter the body through an open wound. Anthrax is a common disease among grazing animals such as cows, goats, and sheep but can also result from bioterrorism.

Eighty to 90 percent of people infected through inhalation will die if not treated, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2001, five people died after inhaling anthrax spores contained in envelopes mailed to U.S. lawmakers and media personnel. Typical treatment post-exposure includes the antibiotics ciprofloxacin, doxycycline and penicillin.

Anthrax results in part from toxic proteins, or toxins, that the multiplying bacteria secrete. The current anthrax vaccine employs one of these proteins, which elicits protective antibodies when injected into people.

While this 40-year-old vaccine can prevent disease, it has significant drawbacks. Immunity is temporary, and five injections over the course of 18 months are needed to sustain it. One in five vaccine recipients develop redness, swelling or pain at the injection site, and a small number develop severe allergic reactions. A recent article in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases states that nearly seven million doses of the anthrax vaccine were administered to more than 1.8 million Americans between 1998 and 2008.

In their study, the Einstein scientists focused on the protein toxin used in the current vaccine, looking for the smallest protein sections (known as peptides) that could trigger the production of protective antibodies when injected into animals.

The researchers injected the current vaccine into mice and recovered six different "pure" strains of antibodies known as monoclonal antibodies. They then mixed each type of antibody with the 145 peptides formed by chopping up the vaccine protein. The researchers looked for peptides that were "recognized by" (became bound to) an antibody an indication that those particular peptides might themselves be able to stimulate the production of protective antibodies on their own.

Ultimately, the researchers found that two of the 145 peptides fit the bill: Each peptide elicited antibodies when injected into mice, and these antibodies protected macrophages from death that would normally have occurred when the macrophages were exposed to anthrax toxin. (Macrophages are protective white blood cells involved in the body's immune response to foreign invaders.) The next step in the Einstein research will be to inject the peptides into an animal model to see if the peptides can protect against anthrax infection.

"An ideal anthrax vaccine contains only the proteins needed to provide protection against disease, and none of the extraneous protein material that triggers the adverse reactions caused by the current vaccine," says Dr. Abboud. "We're hopeful that the two peptides that we have identified in this study can offer these benefits."

The simple structure of these peptides one is only five amino acids in length, the other six means it should be easy to synthesize the peptides and inexpensive to produce a vaccine containing them, Dr. Abboud notes.

Einstein will be applying for a patent for the use of the two peptides in an anthrax vaccine.


'/>"/>

Contact: Deirdre Branley
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Einstein researchers devise a fast and sensitive way to detect ricin
2. NIH funds research center for womens reproductive health at Einstein
3. Einstein and Pitt researchers develop new TB test that will dramatically cut diagnosis time
4. Empire State Stem Cell Board awards $12.7 million to Albert Einstein College of Medicine
5. Einstein scientists receive $10 million NIH grant
6. Einstein researchers develop technique to count messages made by single genes
7. Einstein researchers develop a new way to study how breast cancer spreads
8. In scientific first, Einstein researchers correct decline in organ function associated with old age
9. Feinstein researchers develop new genetic method and identify novel genes for schizophrenia
10. Einstein researchers receive grants totaling $700,000 for innovative breast cancer research
11. Einstein researcher receives NIH grant to explore epigenetic regulation of the human genome
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Einstein scientists move closer to a safer anthrax vaccine
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016 ... Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety ... France during the major tournament Teleste, ... communications systems and services, announced today that its video security ... to back up public safety across the country. ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM ... an industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to ... ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant information ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that ... be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to ... VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt and ... VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to ... both security and usability. ... this new partnership. "This marketing and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... PHILADELPHIA , June 27, 2016  Liquid ... today announced the funding of a Sponsored Research ... study circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  ... changes in CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes ... therapies. These data will then be employed to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences ... detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting ... cells (CTCs). The new test has already been ... in multiple cancer types. Over 230 ... damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, ... second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical ... eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
Breaking Biology Technology: