Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bradford Scientists developing lifesaving vaccine for newborns

06.10.2005


Microbiologists from the University of Bradford believe they may be closer to developing a vaccine that can protect newborn babies from being infected by the common and potentially fatal bacteria Group B Streptococcus.



Group B Streptococcus (GBS) are the most common bacteria attacking newborn babies, affecting 1 in 1000 births, and killing up to 6 per cent of those infected. It infects around 700 babies in the UK each year and kills around 100 of those infected, according to the national charity Group B Strep Support (GBSS).

GBS can cause pneumonia, blood infections and meningitis, and seriously ill babies can die within 24 hours of birth. Babies catch the bacteria from colonised mothers around the time of delivery. Pregnant women may be unaware that they are carrying GBS as usually there are no symptoms.


Beverley Bray (25), a PhD student from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Bradford, is focussing her studies on this vaccine under the supervision of research leader Dr Dean Harrington.

Research by Mrs Bray and Dr Harrington has focused on structures on the bacterium’s surface – lipoproteins – which they think may be important in several processes, including attaching GBS to the baby’s own cells.

Mrs Bray said: “At the moment, we don’t know why GBS is so virulent, so we need to understand how it sticks itself to a baby’s cell surfaces to give us a chance of creating a vaccine.

“If, ultimately, we can develop an effective vaccine from lipoproteins, we could prevent colonised mothers from transmitting the bacteria to newborns. This will remove the need to treat large numbers of mothers and babies with antibiotics.”

In their studies, the University’s microbiologists have looked at a closely related species of Streptococcus that attacks horses, and created a strain that does not produce lipoproteins. They showed that this changes the bacterium’s ability to cause disease, making lipoproteins a possible route for creating a vaccine.

Jane Plumb, Chairman and Co-founder of the charity Group B Strep Support, said: “Up to a third of all men and women carry GBS in their intestines without symptoms and roughly a quarter of women of childbearing age carry GBS in the vagina at any one time.

“A safe and reliable vaccine against GBS infection in babies would be brilliant. It could protect more babies from these infections than any methods we currently have. It could also overcome some of the main problems with screening women for GBS carriage and treating them in labour.

“Some mums will always miss out on screening, and others will have such fast labours they won’t get adequate treatment before delivery. A vaccine could mean many mothers and their babies wouldn’t need antibiotics, which has got to be good news.”

Mrs Bray presented interim results of her research at a recent meeting of the Society of General Microbiologists at Keele University in Staffordshire. Initial findings of the research are expected to be published in 2006.

Emma Banks | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bradford.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

nachricht Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>