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IDRI Collaborates with the Brazilian Butantan Institute To Develop Novel Vaccines Against Leishmaniasis
Date:1/22/2009

ntan with the intention of designing a dual- phase public health program based on the parasite's biology, not only in humans, but also in dogs. In certain endemic areas such as Latin America, dogs can be heavily infected with Leishmaniasis and serve as an animal reservoir for human infection; scientists have observed that sandflies that feed on infected dogs can themselves become infected and then transmit the parasite to humans. Development of a vaccine for dogs could help break disease transmission to humans by decreasing the numbers of infected dogs.

In the first phase of the program, the Instituto Butantan will develop a preventive vaccine for dogs, followed shortly thereafter with a second phase examining the feasibility of developing a therapeutic vaccine for humans.

"IDRI has been working on Leishmaniasis vaccine development for more than 15 years. We have built a large portfolio of vaccine antigens that may be useful for both prevention and treatment of leishmaniasis," commented Steven Reed, Founder and Head of IDRI's Research and Development Program. "While we continue to work on our own vaccine candidates, we are delighted to provide two of our most advanced candidate antigens to a research institution with such a long track-record in vaccine development as the Instituto Butantan. It is critical that more players take action against leishmaniasis. Only by joining forces will we be able to defeat this challenging disease."

"We are excited to begin the evaluation of the vaccine candidate in dogs with the support of the Brazilian Development Bank. Our ultimate goal is to combine the leishmaniasis vaccine with routine rabies immunization and to vaccinate up to 40 millions of dogs in Brazil," added Dr. Raw. "This collaboration with IDRI brings the reality of effective leishmaniasis vaccines significantly closer."

About IDRI

IDRI is a Seattle-based not-for-profit organi
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SOURCE Infectious Disease Research Institute
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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