Navigation Links
Fight begins to eradicate fatal parasite; first vaccines delivered following major funding award
Date:10/29/2008

Fight begins to eradicate fatal parasite; first vaccines delivered following major funding award.

A vaccine developed by University of Melbourne researchers that could eradicate a fatal form of brain disease will be delivered to Peru next week, and could soon be commercially available thanks to multi-million dollar funding.

The parasite Taenia solium causes 50 million tapeworm infections and 50,000 deaths from brain disease in the developing world each year. A major cash injection from the British Government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation means that the vaccine will be registered and be produced on a commercial scale.

Although tapeworms can grow up to metres long and live in humans for years without health implications, their eggs can travel to the brain and cause paralysis and the often fatal condition of neurocysticercosis.

The disease results in cysts on the brain and spinal column, which is the most common cause of acquired epilepsy in the developing world and more than half the world's population living in countries where the parasite is endemic.

Professor Marshall Lightowlers at the Faculty of Veterinary Science has been striving towards the parasite's eradication for almost 30 years.

"I'm in a very lucky position that a lot of people dream and talk about, but virtually nobody reaches," said Professor Lightowlers.

"This disease has been identified as one that could be eradicated from the globe, so this is a very significant hurdle which means the end is well and truly in sight."

Five field trials were carried out in Peru, Cameroon, Mexico and Honduras between 2006 and 2008. All five trials achieved greater than 99% success.

The field trials have proved so successful that the team has been asked to provide 210,000 doses of the vaccine for a separate US$15.7m project funded by the Gates Foundation in Northern Peru, with the first of these doses arriving next week.

They will be used to treat 100,000 pigs in an area where the same number of humans are at risk of contracting the disease in the largest field trial of the vaccine to date.

Professor Lightowlers and his colleagues will travel to the infected regions where they have already trained local people to carry out the vaccinations; some from countries including Peru and Cameroon are now completing doctorates at the University.

University of Melbourne researchers have chosen to immunize pigs instead of humans with two intermuscular injections for piglets that prevent the animals from ever becoming infected but does not remove the disease from animals already infected.

"If we can prove that we can produce the vaccine commercially in a way that works in the field we will be looking at philanthropic groups for whom $100 million or $200 million isn't a lot of money to pay for the millions of doses needed to vaccinate pigs across the globe," he said.

In countries without proper sanitation, and where pigs and humans live in close quarters, there is a constant cycle of re-infection.

Pigs contract the tapeworm parasite from contact with human faeces, it is then passed on to humans who eat improperly cooked pig meat, and then more seriously, from human to human via exposure to tapeworm eggs in human faeces.

The vaccine will be developed and registered for commercial use by UK-based GALVmed, an organisation dedicated to the development of diagnostics, vaccines and medicines to tackle livestock diseases across the world.

GALVmed has secured US$28m from the UK Government's Department for International Development and the Gates Foundation for the development of vaccines, of which approximately US$5m is for the Taenia solium vaccine.

Professor Lightowlers says the vaccination could ultimately be delivered directly in humans, but developing it to that point would be a vastly more expensive process and one that would become irrelevant if the disease can be eradicated in pigs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nerissa Hannink
nhannink@unimelb.edu.au
61-304-305-88055
University of Melbourne
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
2. Computers help chemists fight emerging infections
3. Study shines more light on benefit of vitamin D in fighting cancer
4. Texas Supreme Court Rules Against Medicare HMOs in Hospital Reimbursement Fight
5. HIV Drug Might Fight Cancer
6. ADA Challenges Marylanders to Step Out to Fight Diabetes Epidemic
7. UVa researcher awarded $3.6 million grant to fight drug-resistant bacteria
8. Drug, Pacemaker Fight Irregular Heartbeat
9. Scripps Research scientists shed new light on how antibodies fight HIV
10. The fight against colorectal cancer
11. Especially Yours and Paula Young Team up with Diahann Carroll and Jaclyn Smith in the Fight Against Breast Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... WI (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... As ... in medicine known as “patient engagement.” The patient is doing more than filling out ... partners. , “There is an increasing emphasis in health care and research on ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The International Association of ... of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces the opening of early ... in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. , The ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office ... of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office ... forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting ... Day Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the ... and quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, ... week that explains one of the most popular and least understood books in the ... cryptic and puzzling descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... --  Divoti USA will engrave and process all ... the latest FDA requirements, which stipulates new criteria regarding medical device ... of Medical ID jewelry such as Medical ID Bracelets, can rest ... terms of the new FDA requirements . ... Divoti offers this dark mark fiber laser engraving ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris Life Sciences ... on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, today announced ... joined Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its 17 ... centers, the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will help ... the use of tumor profiling, making cancer treatment more ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received ... Mobile  — a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for ... aims to transform technology into a clinical solution to support the ... costs. Innovative Design ... NDS ZeroWire Mobile Wireless Solution ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: