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Researchers design unique method to induce immunity to certain STDs
Date:4/30/2009

Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common bacterial agent of sexually transmitted disease, accounting for more than a million reported infections in the United States each year.

Researchers at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have now designed a unique method for inducing immunity to the infection. The findings could accelerate progress toward the development of a vaccine against Chlamydia trachomatis infections, which can lead to reproductive dysfunction and profound local inflammation requiring medical attention.

Their study, which describes the first use of a novel vaccine platform that utilizes an engineered nanoparticle delivery system, appears in the April 30 edition of the peer-reviewed online journal PLoS ONE, published by the Public Library of Science, and is available at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0005409.

The research team, a partnership between UCLA immunologists and nanotechnologists, is led by Kathleen Kelly, an associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and a CNSI member, and Leonard H. Rome, interim director of the CNSI and a professor of biological chemistry. The team also includes Cheryl I. Champion, Valerie A. Kickhoefer, Guangchao Liu, Raymond J. Moniz, Amanda S. Freed, Lisa L. Bergmann, Dana Vaccari, Sujna Raval-Fernandes and Ann M. Chan.

The researchers were able to uncover a surprising connection between vault nanoparticles and mucosal immunity. Vaults are barrel-shaped nanoscale capsules found in the cytoplasm of all mammalian cells that can be engineered to serve as potential therapeutic delivery devices.

"The primary goal of vaccines is to generate robust cell-mediated immune responses at mucosal surfaces while reducing overall inflammation caused by infection," Kelly said. "We found that vault nanoparticle
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Contact: Jennifer Marcus
jmarcus@cnsi.ucla.edu
310-267-4838
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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