Another human health ramification comes from work done by several research groups that have demonstrated that the poultry disease is also similar to other harmful E. coli, including the dreaded E. coli (O157:H7), which is responsible for human illness and death, typically from eating contaminated meat.
Antibiotics have long been the first line of defense to prevent APEC, but have lost their potency, as the bacteria have grown increasingly resistant to treatment.
Its becoming increasingly important to develop a vaccine to prevent bacterial infection in poultry, said Mellata. Poultry is not only a daily food staple, but less commonly known, also a key to human health. For example, the entire supply of flu vaccine production is made from eggs.
Bacterial contamination resulted in half the U.S. flu vaccine supply being destroyed in 2004.
The difficulty in making a vaccine against Salmonella and E. coli is related to their genetic diversity. If the Curtiss research team is to be successful, the vaccine must be effective against a broad spectrum of E. coli and Salmonella groups.
In the past decade several researchers and commercial enterprises have developed Salmonella vaccines for animal health, but they are only effective against a few strains.
The Curtiss group has been a world leader in Salmonella-based vaccines. Curtiss international team alone has already developed two vaccines that are effective against Salmonella in livestock. By freeing animals from Salmonella, the vaccine is designed to prevent it from traveling down the food chain to people. His vaccine has received FDA approval for use with swine and poultry and is on the market.
The first step in vaccine development is to understand the molecular tricks bacteria use to elude a hosts immune system. Within the haystack of the E. coli
|Contact: Joe Caspermeyer|
Arizona State University