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Solving an avian scourge could also provide benefits to human health
Date:3/18/2008

bacterial genome, the research team has been focused on identifying the genes responsible for triggering its harmful effects.

But in order for the APEC vaccine to pull double duty, they must also demonstrate effectiveness against Salmonella. A key challenge of the project is to see if there is a common thread that can be found in E. coli and Salmonella-which genetically, are very distant cousins at best.

The problem right now is understanding the virulence of APEC as well as Salmonella to find a way that will protect against all types of the bacteria, said Mellata.

For the past generation, Curtiss has employed Salmonella as a Trojan horse against a variety of harmful pathogens. By using a similar approach, his team is currently developing a vaccine against bacterial pneumonia in a $15 million project funded primarily by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

For the USDA project, the APEC genes would be shuttled into the Salmonella bacteria in the hopes of triggering a protective immune response against both Salmonella and E. coli.

Mellata feels her team has many APEC gene targets they will use, and they are hard at work to identify several promising factors. The team hopes to have several candidates to test at the end of the three-year, $400,000 project, which will be completed in 2010.


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Contact: Joe Caspermeyer
joseph.caspermeyer@asu.edu
480-727-0369
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

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