Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterium that can cause respiratory tract infections, which can be life threatening in patients who have cystic fibrosis. It is therefore important to develop a vaccine against this pathogen. Appearing online on 1 April 2005 in advance of print publication of the May issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Ronald Crystal and colleagues from Cornell University use a novel strategy to create a genetic vaccine against P. aeruginosa.
The researchers use a modified adenovirus vector vaccine expressing a region of the outer membrane of P. aeruginosa, called OprF, which had previously been recognized as a promising vaccine candidate. This region of the bacteria was expressed in the capsid area of the vector. Immunization of mice with this vaccine induced antibody production and protected the mice from exposure to a deadly dose of the bacteria. Importantly, the mice could be repeatedly given the vaccine and the immune response against P. aeruginosa was boosted. Usually, adenovirus vectors do not allow for repeated infection.
These results may be useful in the development of vaccines against bacterial pathogens. The findings that a vaccine against Pseudomonas aeruginosa is therapeutic in mice offers promise for patients with cystic fibrosis or other disorders that prevent them from effectively fighting off respiratory tract infections.
Stacie Bloom | EurekAlert!
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