A new vaccine formulation that utilizes an unusual protein derived from a bacterium that causes food poisoning — Listeria — could paradoxically be used to improve the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for a variety of viral diseases. These could include HIV, smallpox and influenza, according to researchers at the University of Michigan.
Conventional vaccine formulations typically use live or weakened viruses to boost the immune response. The Listeria formulation uses viral protein components along with the bacterial protein, reducing the possibility of accidental viral infection. In preliminary animal studies, the new vaccine also appeared to boost the immune response better than a conventional vaccine, according to the researchers.
Their study appears in the inaugural (January) issue of Molecular Pharmaceutics, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the worlds largest scientific society. The new bi-monthly journal focuses on the emerging and evolving fields of the molecular mechanisms of drugs and drug delivery.
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
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