Navigation Links
Wake Forest scientists find new combination vaccine effective against plague

Plague, a bacterium that ravaged Europe in the Middle Ages and is today one of the most feared potential agents of bio-terrorism, may have met its match, according to Wake Forest University School of Medicine scientists.

Steven B. Mizel, Ph.D., principal investigator, told the American Gastroenterological Association meeting in Chicago that when mice immunized with a new combination vaccine were challenged with a lethal dose of Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague, "the immune mice survived but the control mice succumbed in three days."

Mizel and his graduate student, Anna Honko, found that injecting a protein taken from plague bacteria into a mouse ?one method of vaccination ?produces little if any response in the mouse immune system. But if a protein termed flagellin is added to the vaccine, antibody levels against the plague bacteria are 500,000 times higher.

"Flagellin can function as an effective adjuvant, making a vaccine that protects against the most dangerous form of the plague ?pneumonic plague," reported Mizel, professor and chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

Pneumonic plague occurs when an individual breathes in plague bacteria. Untreated, the victim dies within three to four days. "We have also established that flagellin is an effective adjuvant in monkeys immunized with flagellin and a Yersina pestis antigen," he said. "The immunized monkeys showed no undesired effects from the vaccine. There was no fever or other signs of problems.

"These results clearly establish a strong foundation for the future use of flagellin as an adjuvant in humans," Mizel said.

He said the research shows that the mice were protected for at least three months after immunization.

The work is part of a $9.125 million, five-year research program funded by the National Institutes of Health unde r a federal bioterrorism initiative. "The development of a vaccine against the pneumonic or respiratory form of plague is a major goal of the bio-defense initiative," he said.

The research program involves six other medical school scientists and a secure biosafety laboratory at Virginia Tech that is certified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI to work with dangerous pathogens. Mizel said the actual challenges of vaccines against plague are occurring in that safe laboratory in Blacksburg, Va., and not in Winston-Salem.

Flagellin is taken from bacterial flagella, whiplike appendages that are used by bacteria to move around their environment. Thus it is possible for animals that have been exposed to a different bacterial infection to have antibodies against flagellin. But Mizel and his colleagues found that flagellin is equally effective in animals with such antibodies as it is in mice that had never encountered flagellin before.

"Prior immunity to flagellin does not impair its ability to function as an adjuvant," Mizel said. "This means that flagellin can be used multiple times with different types of vaccines. The new plague vaccine also has the advantage of not requiring a needle since only a few drops in the nose provide protection."

In view of the exciting results with the plague vaccine, Mizel plans to determine if immunized monkeys are protected against the plague. If they are then efforts will be initiated to begin studies in humans.


'"/>

Source:Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center


Related biology news :

1. Revueltosaurus skeleton unearthed at Petrified Forest upsets dinosaur tale
2. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
3. UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth
4. UAB scientists discover the origin of a mysterious physical force
5. Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists identify immune-system mutation
6. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a new approach for directing treatment to metastasized prostate cancer in the bones.
7. U-M scientists find genes that control growth of common skin cancer
8. UCLA scientists transform HIV into cancer-seeking missile
9. RNA project to create language for scientists worldwide
10. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop tool that uses MRI to visualize gene expression in living animals
11. To control germs, scientists deploy tiny agents provocateurs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ... of online age and identity verification solutions, announced today ... Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, ... Building and International Trade Center. Identity ... globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... 2017 Janice Kephart , former ... Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the ... Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting ... can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the ... refugee applications are suspended by until at least ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... MELBOURNE, Florida , April 17, 2017 ... security technology company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report ... Securities and Exchange Commission. ... Report on Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section ... well as on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, a global ... industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will now be offering ... being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, including the ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit is back for its 4th year. ... San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current and former FDA office bearers, regulators, ... government officials from around the world to address key issues in device compliance, quality ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... August compared the implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in ... contribution of progesterone and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem Biopharma, Inc. ... event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held on August 31st, ... was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: