Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Vaccine for Wildlife Rabies

09.12.2004


While the raccoon that raids your trash at night may look cute and mischievous, think again. Its claws can be nasty. Even worse, it might carry rabies.



Now, scientists at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and at Molecular Targeting Technologies, Inc. (MTTI) in West Chester, Pa., are taking steps to prevent the disease. They have created a more powerful, safer vaccine than currently is available to combat rabies in wildlife.

Wildlife rabies is no small matter in this country. It’s particularly prevalent along the East Coast, and more than 90 percent of reported cases of rabies in all are in wildlife. Raccoons are the most affected, with skunk a close second. Worldwide, and especially in underdeveloped nations, rabies takes a large human toll: More than 60,000 human deaths a year.


In work published December 9 in the journal Vaccine, researchers led by Bernhard Dietzschold, DVM, professor of microbiology and immunology, at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, created a new live rabies vaccine by manipulating the virus itself, making it much weaker than before. The scientists also made the vaccine much more immunogenic, meaning it aroused a much more robust response from the immune system. “The advantages of our vaccine are its lack of pathogenicity and the fact that it’s much more immunogenic,” he says. Live virus vaccines always carry the potential to actually cause the disease they are designed to prevent.

“We have developed a very specific rabies vaccine which displays high titers and the lack of pathogenicity for immunocompetent mice even after many passages,” says Dr. Dietzschold, meaning that the vaccine retained its potency over time. “This novel rabies vaccine will be an excellent candidate for immunization of stray dogs and wildlife.”

“We have found a master key to turn on and off the pathogenicity of the virus,” says Chris Pak, Ph.D., MTTI president and CEO. “We are extremely pleased with these preliminary positive results. Rabies is not only a public health problem that causes more than 60,000 human deaths per year worldwide but also caused a tremendous economic burden. In the United States alone, more than $1 billion are spent annually for control, treatment and prevention of rabies.”

Using “bioreactor technology,” a sophisticated cell culture system, scientists at MTTI produced large amounts of vaccine easily and inexpensively – a key, says Dr. Dietzschold, to mass production.

One of the problems with current vaccines is that fact that several varieties are used, depending on the particular species of animal. Jefferson and MTTI scientists hope their vaccine will prove useful for rabies prevention in several species. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta currently is testing the effectiveness of the vaccine in raccoons, dogs, skunks and mongoose over the next six months.

The next step, Dr. Dietzschold says, is field trials of the vaccine. In such trials, animals would be given food baits with vaccine, then later captured and tested for rabies antibodies. He notes that some 70 percent of an animal population in an area needs to have sufficient antibodies to control the spread of the disease.

As scientists continue to better understand the specific ways the vaccine confers immunity, it will be possible to improve the vaccine’s potency, obtaining immunity with a minimal dose, he says.

Steve Benowitz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jefferson.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular volume control

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

When fish swim in the holodeck

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>