"The vaccine with the Bacillus bacteria is very inexpensive to produce in large quantities and, unlike most traditional vaccines, requires no special purification steps before use. As a result, the cost of vaccine production is unusually low," explained Saul Tzipori, BVSc (DVM), DSc, PhD, Agnes Varis University Chair in Science and Society, distinguished professor of microbiology and infectious diseases, and director of the infectious diseases division of the department of biomedical sciences at the Cummings School. These findings are consistent with the team's previous studies in which they demonstrated that B. subtilis bacteria displaying a fragment of tetanus toxin protein completely protect mice from tetanus. Tetanus vaccines have been stored for more than a year at 113F without any loss of potency, a property that may be common to all B. subtilis vaccines.
Vaccines currently available have to be stored in refrigerators or freezers until the moment they are administered. This cold chain is difficult and costly to maintain. In many parts of the world, there is insufficient refrigeration or electricity to keep vaccines cold. The lack of refrigeration combined with the lack of trained personnel, especially in rural areas in developing countries, make it impossible for many children and adults to be vaccinated against standard infections, such as tetanus, rotavirus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and other diseases.
"In addition to being heat-stable and low-cost, the B. subtilis vaccines are given in the form of nasal drops or spray. A needle-free approach to vaccination is particularly advantageous in developing countries where clean needles and syringes and trained personnel are not always available," said team leader Abraham L. (Linc) Sonenshein, PhD, professor and acting chair of molecular biology and microbiology at TUSM and member of the genetics and microbiology program faculties at the Sackler School of G
|Contact: Siobhan E. Gallagher|
Tufts University, Health Sciences