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Nano vaccine for hepatitis B shows promise for third world
Date:8/12/2008

sion vaccine proved effective at producing three types of immunity: systemic, mucosal and cellular. Further toxicity studies in rodents and dogs showed the vaccine was safe and well-tolerated.

The vaccine was as effective as current hepatitis B vaccines in eliciting systemic protective antibodies in the blood of animals. The nanoemulsion acted as an effective adjuvant, without the need for a traditional adjuvant or inflammatory compound as in the current hepatitis B vaccines.

In addition, the nanoemulsion vaccine produced sustained cellular immunity in Th1 cells, which could make the vaccine useful in treating people with chronic hepatitis B whose own cellular immune responses are inadequate.

The animals given the nasal nanoemulsion in the study also activated a third type of immunity, mucosal immunity, which is gaining recognition among immunologists as a key first-line response to infectious agents in diseases such as hepatitis B where mucosal tissues are involved in transmission. Baker and his team found the same effect of activating mucosal immunity that was seen in their previous studies of other nanoemulsion-based vaccines.

The researchers tested whether the vaccine could remain stable and effective even if not refrigerated. They found the nanoemulsion vaccine retained its effectiveness for six months when kept at 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), and even was stable and effective for six weeks at 40 degrees C (104 degrees F). This suggests that refrigeration will not be needed for the final distribution of the vaccine in developing countries, making it easier to vaccinate underserved people.

Current studies are focused on developing the preclinical data required to enter human trials, Baker says. The researchers hope that the first human trial can begin within a year.


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Contact: Anne Rueter
arueter@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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