Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New strategy for treating allergic disorders

01.08.2007
Oral intake of allergens or auto-antigens via the lactic acid bacterium Lactococcus lactis might be a new strategy for treating various kinds of auto-immune and allergic disorders.

VIB researchers associated with Ghent University, in collaboration with the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam, have shown that auto-antigens or allergens can be administered orally via the lactic acid bacterium. Based on this principle, which has been patented by VIB, ActoGeniX - a spin-off from VIB and Ghent University - is already developing a variety of biopharmaceutical medicines for a range of clinical indications.

The immune system

Every day our immune system combats harmful substances and micro-organisms that seek to penetrate our body. However, if our immune system is not working properly, we are subject to a variety of diseases. In the case of auto-immune diseases, the immune system no longer distinguishes between our body’s own substances and foreign substances and begins to attack our own tissues and organs. In other cases, the immune system responds mistakenly to harmless substances, such as the house dust mite, milk products, or pollen. This inappropriate immune system reaction to contact with such substances (allergens) is called an allergy. Today, 20% of the European population suffers from an allergy, which is twice as many sufferers compared to 15 years ago.

Lactococcus as supplier of remedies

In its natural form, the lactic acid bacterium (Lactococcus lactis) is a well-known food bacterium that has been used since time immemorial to convert milk into cheese and yoghurt. In the battle against chronic intestinal diseases, VIB researchers have been using L. lactis as a producer of a drug against gastroenteritis. The initial results of the clinical trials are promising.

Now, the bacterium is also being used to fight other disorders. There are a number of active substances for the treatment of allergies and auto-immune diseases that scientists suspect are effective in suppressing these diseases. However, it seems to be impossible to introduce these substances into the intestine in an effective manner. Pieter Rottiers and his VIB colleagues came up with the idea of calling on L. lactis once again. They introduced DNA with the code for a therapeutic protein into the bacterium’s DNA. Together with Inge L. Huibregtse, a physician at the AMC, the VIB researchers succeeded in having L. lactis produce the ovalbumin (OVA) protein.

Tested on mice

Inge L. Huibregtse (AMC) and Veerle Snoeck (VIB) evaluated the use of OVA-secreting bacteria on mice that were allergic to ovalbumin. By administering OVA-secreting bacteria, which deliver ovalbumin to the right place in the intestine, they succeeded in creating ovalbumin-tolerant mice.

Promising outlook

This research demonstrates that L. lactis can be employed to induce tolerance toward certain substances. This innovative strategy can now be developed further for the treatment of allergic and auto-immune disorders. The rising incidence of these disorders calls for more effective treatments with fewer side effects. The biopharmaceutical company ActoGeniX is playing a crucial role in the development of such new medicines. Indeed, upon its founding in 2006, ActoGeniX acquired the complete patent portfolio concerning this technology from VIB and Ghent University. ActoGeniX is now using this technology to develop a series of safe, effective medicines in a broad spectrum of disease areas.

Questions

Given that this research can raise a lot of questions, we ask you to please refer questions in your report or article to the email address that VIB makes available for this purpose: patienteninfo@vib.be. Everyone can submit questions concerning this and other medically-oriented research directly to VIB via this address.

Relevant scientific publications

This research appears in the authoritative journal Gastroenterology (Huibregtse et al., Induction of OVA-specific tolerance by oral administration of Lactococcus lactis secreting OVA, Gastroenterology, 2007).
Other informative publications that preceded this research:
Braat et al., Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 4, 754-759 (2006)
Vandenbroucke et al., Gastroenterology, 127, 502-513 (2004)
Steidler et al., Nature Biotechnology, 21, 785-789 (2003)
Funding
This research has been funded by UGent and VIB.

Ann Van Gysel | alfa
Further information:
http://www.vib.be

Further reports about: ActoGeniX Gastroenterology auto-immune disorders immune system lactis

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>