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WSU files for patent on researcher's vaccine technology for chlamydia
Date:4/20/2011

DETROIT A Wayne State University School of Medicine researcher has developed a potential first ever vaccine for Chlamydia, the world's most prevalent sexually transmitted disease and the leading cause of new cases of blindness.

Judith Whittum-Hudson, Ph.D., professor of immunology and microbiology, internal medicine and ophthalmology, has identified three peptides that have demonstrated a vaccine effect to inoculate against Chlamydia successfully in an animal model. Those findings could soon result in a vaccine for humans.

Patent applications on the technology have been filed by Wayne State University and licensed to a start-up company.

While Chlamydia infection can be readily addressed with a regimen of antibiotics, the treatment does not prevent re-infection. Treatment with antibiotics too early after infection may interfere with the natural development of immunity to Chlamydia, Whittum-Hudson said, and significant portions of the world lack access to basic health care infrastructure that could offer treatment through antibiotics.

"There is no vaccine and the disease is widely rampant," Whittum-Hudson said. "Antibiotics, while effective in treatment, offer no protection against re-infection."

The technology developed by Dr. Whittum-Hudson consists of novel peptide immunogens selected from a random phage display library by an antibody against a Chlamydial glycolipid exoantigen, or GLXA, or peptides that correspond to antigen-binding regions of an anti-idiotypic antibody mimic of GLXA. The peptides comprising the vaccine would induce antibodies and other immune responses to the entire spectrum of genus-wide Chlamydia. Whittum-Hudson said colleagues have developed a method to encapsulate the vaccine, so that it can be delivered orally rather than through injection, a boon to developing nations that lack the infrastructure to support inoculations through needle injection.

Chlamydial infections are the leading
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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
734-748-4207
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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