Tuberculosis that takes away lives of two million people remains a very dangerous disease. Physicians all over the world are working to produce efficient tuberculosis vaccines, but their effort has not succeeded yet. All preparations available do not ensure complete protection from the disease.
For example, efficiency of one of the most widespread vaccines – BCG – varies from 80% to 0%. The experimental vaccine, the Novosibirsk researchers are working at, is a DNA fragment that codes the ESAT-6 mycobacterial antigen. Production of such a vaccine became possible after thorough investigation of genomes of mycobacteria – causative agent of tuberculosis – and of a congener bacterium - Mycobacterium bovis.
The majority of existing tuberculosis vaccines represent weakened mycobacteria cultures: a vaccine is supposed to provoke the immune response, but not the disease. The bacteria are weakened by removing from them the genes that are responsible for virulent properties, including the gene that codes the ESAT-6. It is absent from all existing Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccine cultures. The Novosibirsk researchers staked specifically on this protein, which should not pose danger by itself .
Having established a proper genetically engineered construction, the researchers surrounded it by a polysacharide covering of polyglucin and spermidine. The covering reliably protects the DNA from enzymes that can destroy it. In the organism, polyglucin gradually decomposes, and the DNA becomes accessible to the immune system cells. The mice were immunized by the obtained preparation for three times. The preparation was injected intramuscularly at a two-week interval. The reference group animals were immunized by polysaccharides and the DNA, which did not contain the vaccine gene.
After vaccination, the mice were observed for 10 more days, and during this period, they did not lose weight and did not show any other symptoms of health impairment. Nevertheless, the animals had to be slaughtered to investigate their immune system reaction. Vaccines should stimulate cell-mediated immunity, and indeed, lymphocyte clones were formed with mice after immunization. The lymphocyte clones started to divide actively in response to introduction of the real ESAT-6 protein, at that the reaction significantly exceeded the background reaction. As for the reference group mice, their lymphocytes did not react to the protein injection. The analysis has proved that specific cell-mediated immunity was formed with vaccinated mice.
This is not a vaccine yet, it is only the first step to its development. As a matter of fact, the step has been successful.
Olga Myznikova | alfa
Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
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...
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...
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....
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,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Life Sciences