Navigation Links
New antibody shows promise as cure for anthrax

A new anthrax antibody engineered by scientists at The University of Texas at Austin protects and defends against inhalation anthrax without the use of antibiotics and other more expensive antibodies.

The high-affinity antibody, an anthrax antitoxin, successfully eliminated both anthrax bacteria and its deadly toxins in animal tests. If future tests concur, this could be the first successful treatment for late-stage anthrax infection, even for an anthrax strain that has been designed to resist antibiotics.

The new antibody treatment, reported in the December issue of Infection and Immunity, is the result of collaboration between the labs of Dr. Brent Iverson and Dr. George Georgiou at The University of Texas at Austin and a research team led by Dr. Jean Patterson at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR) in San Antonio.

"What we have found is that you may not even need the antibiotics to beat anthrax," says Iverson, professor of chemistry. He says that the new treatment "looks promising" and that it could lead to a simpler and cheaper way to treat anthrax. The new antibody is produced in bacterial cells, rather than the more expensive mammalian cell culture now used to produce anthrax antibodies.

Patterson, chair of the Department of Virology and Immunology at SFBR, adds, "A concern to national defense is that terrorists might design a strain of anthrax that is resistant to antibiotics, but this antitoxin could eliminate those concerns by providing an effective treatment that doesn't require antibiotics."

Anthrax infection is successfully treatable only in its early stages, when antibiotics can be used to kill anthrax bacteria. Before 2002, nothing was available to treat the large amounts of deadly toxin released by those bacteria, which is what leads to death in patients with late-stage anthrax infection.

In 2002, Iverson and Georgiou, a biomedical and chemical engineer, reported that their labs ha d developed a high-affinity, "sticky" antibody designed to bind with anthrax toxin and remove it from the body. This antibody was licensed to Elusys Theraputics, a New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company, who turned it into a full immunoglobulin G (IgG). In trials, Elusys has found that the IgG protects test animals from anthrax when administered both before and after exposure to the disease.

Since those findings, Dr. Robert Mabry of the Iverson and Georgiou laboratory has reformulated the antitoxin to make it last longer in the bloodstream. Dr. Mabry also produced the antibody in bacterial culture, which could eliminate the need for complicated and expensive IgG production in mammalian cell culture. Drs. Jean Patterson and Ricardo Carrión at SFBR, along with veterinary staff from the SFBR Department of Comparative Medicine, have tested the re-engineered antibody with guinea pigs to determine if the antitoxin could protect against a true infection with anthrax spores.

"We expected the antitoxin to extend the lifespan of the infected animals," says Patterson, "but since we did not couple it with antibiotics, we thought that the bacteria would continue to replicate, and the increasing amount of toxins would eventually overpower the treatment."

In fact, results differed from the scientists' expectations, leading to the serendipitous discovery that the antibody effectively eliminates both the toxin and the anthrax bacteria.

In two separate experiments conducted in SFBR's biosafety level 4, maximum containment laboratory, researchers placed anthrax spores in the nasal passages of guinea pigs, mimicking exposure to inhalation anthrax. The doses were 250 to 625 times what would ordinarily be lethal to 50 percent of the animals. After 72 hours, the animals not treated with the antitoxin succumbed to the infection, but those that received the treatment were still healthy two and three weeks later.

"Day after day, we came into th e lab to find the animals still healthy and happy," Patterson said.

Upon examination of all the animals at the end of both experiments, scientists found no evidence of disease, with no or only trace amounts of anthrax residing in typical reservoirs for the bacteria, the lungs and spleen.

Iverson cautions it's not yet clear that this antibody treatment is as effective as the IgG antibody produced by Elusys, and that he and his collaborators are doing more studies to confirm that.

The researchers also plan to conduct additional tests to determine how the antitoxin eliminates anthrax bacteria, which is still unknown. They have two hypotheses, which might both be part of the full story. One hypothesis is that the antitoxin somehow neutralizes anthrax bacteria and prevents it from replicating. The other looks to innate immunity, theorizing that since the high-affinity antibody clears the body of the deadly toxin, it allows the body's initial immune response to successfully kill the anthrax bacteria on its own.


'"/>

Source:University of Texas at Austin


Related biology news :

1. Secrets to antibodys success against West Nile Virus surprise scientists
2. Computer models aid understanding of antibody-dependent enhancement in spread of dengue fever
3. High resolution snapshots detail dynamics of a cocaine antibody
4. Buckyballs boost antibodys chemotherapy payload
5. Combination therapy with a monocloncal antibody and a vaccine leads to tumor rejection
6. A single sugar found responsible for an antibodys ability to treat inflammation
7. A key antibody, IgG, links cells capture and disposal of germs
8. Monoclonal antibody reduces exacerbations in asthmatics
9. Genome of deadly amoeba shows surprising complexity, evidence of lateral gene transfer
10. “Nano-scissors?laser shows precise surgical capability
11. Clam embryo study shows pollutant mixture adversely affects nerve cell development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/7/2017)... 2017   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based ... clinical research, is pleased to announce that the latest ... highly flexible and award winning eClinical solution, is now ... is a proven Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) clinical research technology ... but also delivers an entire suite of eClinical tools ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... 2017 Ipsidy Inc. ( www.ipsidy.com ... IDGS], ("Ipsidy" or the "Company") a provider of secure, ... is pleased to announce the following changes as part ... January 31, 2017, Philip D. Beck was ... President.  An experienced payment industry professional and public company ...
(Date:2/3/2017)... , Feb. 3, 2017  Texas Biomedical Research Institute ... Larry Schlesinger as the Institute,s new President ... Biomed effective May 31, 2017. He is currently the Chair ... of the Center for Microbial Interface Biology at Ohio State ... as the new President and CEO of Texas Biomed," said ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/15/2017)...  Trianni, Inc. („TRIANNI") gab heute bekannt, man ... über die Verwendung der The Trianni Mouse unterschrieben, ... Entdeckung monoklonaler Antikörper. Die Trianni Plattform ... das Janssen den Zugang zu einer ... für die schelle Isolierung vollständig menschlicher Therapeutika optimiert ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... 2017  Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Vanda) (NASDAQ: VNDA), ... fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, ... for Vanda as we continued to demonstrate strong ... exclusivity for Fanapt," said Mihael H. Polymeropoulos, M.D., ... pipeline with important 2017 milestones underscores Vanda,s commitment ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... Feb. 15, 2017 Windtree Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... developing aerosolized KL4 surfactant therapies for respiratory diseases, will ... presentation) at 8:00 AM EST on Thursday, February 16, ... clinical program, the recently announced closing of a $10.5 ... To participate in the live call and ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... ... February 15, 2017 , ... Diameter Health ... Diameter Health technology in the hands of Lantana analysts. The high-performance platform of ... and public health entities – all those mining value from clinical data – ...
Breaking Biology Technology: