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 Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

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: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>