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New vaccine to assist worldwide eradication of polio
Date:12/14/2010

occur.

"What excites me about this project is that we're working towards a risk-free vaccine that will be essential for the complete eradication of polio from the globe," adds Dr Stonehouse. "As well as being safe to produce and use, it will be stable enough not to need refrigeration and could be injected as part of current childhood vaccination programmes."

Although a similar approach using replica virus particles has been used successfully to create the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer, the complexity of the polio virus creates significant additional challenges.

"With polio, the virus particle's surface matures and changes because of the genetic material inside, and so ensuring that our replica particle mimics this surface exactly is not going to be easy. Since it's essentially an empty protein shell, it also has to be robust enough that it doesn't fall apart," explains Professor Rowlands. "This will be an iterative process, where we keep testing, refining and improving the particles we design until we achieve exactly the right structure and surface."

"We believe that if the project is successful, this new approach could help to completely eradicate this disease for good."


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Contact: Dr Nicola Stonehouse
n.j.stonehouse@leeds.ac.uk
44-113-343-3102
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert  

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