Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Vaccination with anthrax capsule protects against experimental infection in animals


Vaccination with the anthrax capsule, a naturally occurring component of the bacterium that causes the disease, protected mice from lethal anthrax infection, according to scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). In addition, the capsule enhanced the effects of protective antigen (PA), the protective component of the current licensed human vaccine. The work was recently published in the journal VACCINE.

According to senior author Arthur M. Friedlander, M.D., Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, produces three main components that allow it to do harm--lethal toxin, edema toxin, and the capsule. During anthrax infection, the bacterium invades and grows to high concentrations in the host. The capsule surrounds the bacterium and prevents it from being ingested by host white blood cells that would otherwise destroy it, thus allowing anthrax infection to progress. The toxins are thought to act mainly by damaging defensive cells called phagocytes, causing the immune system to malfunction.

The efficacy of the current licensed anthrax vaccine, Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA), is believed to be based on the presence of PA. Though the exact mechanism of protection is not known, antibodies to PA induced by AVA are believed to play a role in neutralizing the anthrax toxins.

USAMRIID scientists have extensively studied protective antigen, demonstrating that PA alone confers protection in animal challenge studies with both rabbits and nonhuman primates. In addition, the recombinant, highly purified version of PA developed and tested by the Institute is the basis for a next generation anthrax vaccine currently in advanced development.

However, because a response against PA is thought to target the toxins only, there is interest in identifying additional potential anthrax vaccine components that target the whole organism. According to Friedlander, scientists have suspected for some time that the anthrax capsule plays a role in conferring protection. This study provides the first definitive proof of that concept.

The research team vaccinated several groups of mice. One month after the second dose, the mice were challenged with lethal doses of spores from a strain of anthrax producing only the capsule. In the group that had received the capsule vaccine, 7 of 12 mice survived challenge. In the control group, which received injections of a placebo instead of the capsule vaccine, none of the 12 mice survived.

Next, the team evaluated the efficacy of capsule vaccines alone or in combination with PA, using the same dosage schedule as before. In this experiment, using a fully virulent strain producing both capsule and toxins, neither capsule nor PA alone protected while the combination vaccine resulted in survival of 9 of 11 mice. "We demonstrated that protection was even greater when the capsule was combined with PA, compared to when PA was given alone," Friedlander said. "A different formulation could make it even better. The next step will be testing in additional animal models."

Friedlander’s colleagues on the study were Donald J. Chabot, Angelo Scorpio, Steven A. Tobery, Stephen F. Little, and Sarah L. Norris. "This work shows the importance of developing vaccines that target multiple agent-specific targets," said George V. Ludwig, Ph.D., interim science director for USAMRIID. "This helps reduce the possibility of technological surprise when dealing with emerging biological threats."

Caree Vander Linden | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>