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 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

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: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>