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Researchers find novel approach for controlling deadly C. difficile infections
Date:1/30/2014

se, Luiz Eugenio and Melissa Schorr in Dr. Ng's laboratory.

The antibody-toxin complexes were developed using single-domain antibodies derived from llamas.

"The smaller size of the llama antibodies compared to the monoclonal antibodies currently used for diagnostics or in development for therapeutics greatly assists with structure determination and protein engineering," explains Ng. "Starting from these structures, we are now creating modified antibodies for improving treatments in the future."

"Basic biological research on llamas, camels and sharks led to the discovery of a smaller type of antibody with a simpler structure," adds Ng. "It is this simpler structure that allows us to make modifications and perform many detailed studies that are not easily done with other types of antibodies.

The unique characteristics of these single-domain antibodies provide an attractive approach for developing new treatments for C. difficile."

According to Ng, although the research is at the fundamental science level, the new structures provide a blueprint for designing new molecules that could neutralize the bacterial toxins more effectively than anything currently available.

This project relied on important contributions from Elena Kitova in John Klassen's mass spectrometry group at the Alberta Glycomics Centre, at the University of Alberta, as well as from Greg Hussack in Jamshid Tanha's antibody therapeutics group at the National Research Council in Ottawa.


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Contact: Marie-Helene Thibeault
m.thibeault@ucalgary.ca
403-679-8447
University of Calgary
Source:Eurekalert  

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