Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bacterium that causes food poisoning may lead to better anti-viral vaccines

23.01.2004


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 world’s largest scientific society. The new bi-monthly journal focuses on the emerging and evolving fields of the molecular mechanisms of drugs and drug delivery.


The vaccine incorporates a bacterial protein called listeriolysin O (LLO), which has the unusual ability to allow Listeria to cut through and enter certain cells that are involved in the immune response. These cells, called macrophages, are in turn able to activate other immune cells called cytotoxic T-lymphocytes, which are needed for complete protection against viral diseases but are not adequately activated by conventional vaccine formulations. By boosting the activity of these cells along with the production of viral antibodies, the new vaccine formulation could ultimately help save lives, the researchers say.

"Today’s vaccines are lifesavers, but there’s still much room for improvement," says study leader Kyung-Dall Lee, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. "We’ve shown that vaccines produced using the listeriolysin O protein can dramatically boost the immune response [in mice]. We’re very excited about this promising vaccine delivery system, which could pave the way for the next generation of safer, more effective vaccines."

In preliminary studies using a mouse model of viral meningitis, a vaccine containing a genetically engineered version of the LLO protein was used to effectively immunize a small group of mice against a lethal viral strain — with a 100 percent survival rate, the researchers say. By contrast, half of the mice died that were given a conventional meningitis vaccine formulation, while none of the non-immunized mice survived, they add.

Lee and his associates had first demonstrated in cell studies that the LLO protein isolated from Listeria could boost immune responses. He then genetically engineered the protein into the new vaccine formulation for enhanced immune protection.

This study represents the first time the experimental strategy has been shown to work in live animal models of viral infection and represents a promising strategy for boosting both antibodies and cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (or T-cells) simultaneously, which are needed to maximize the immune system’s response against viral attack, Lee and his associates say.

If further studies are successful, the vaccine delivery system could be available to make a variety of anti-viral vaccines for consumers in several years, Lee predicts. In particular, the finding renews hope of eventually developing an effective HIV vaccine to stem the spread of AIDS. Clinical studies are still needed for each specific vaccine, he cautions.

"We harnessed the clever invasive machinery of Listeria and developed it into a potentially safer and more effective vaccine delivery formulation," says Lee, who holds a patent related to the LLO vaccine delivery technique. He adds that the technique also holds promise for developing vaccines for other diseases, including cancer and SARS.


The National Institutes of Health provided funding for this study.

Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acs.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>