Even though trial treatments are being used to treat bird flu in humans, technically termed the H5N1 virus, the vaccine has the potential for numerous other uses, such as for the common flu shot, says Dr. Ian Tizard, professor of pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.
The project is funded in part by a $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health awarded to DelSite Biotechnologies in conjunction with the Texas A&M teams. DelSite, an Irving-based company, has a facility in College Station.
Tizard says the method in which the vaccine gets delivered into the body is the key to the new treatment.
“We take Aloe vera leaves and put them through a series of complex extraction steps to produce a chemically pure powder, and then we combine the flu vaccine with it,” he explains.
“When this powder vaccine is puffed into the nose, it forms a jelly-like substance that clings to the inside of the nose and is absorbed into the body much more effectively. It stays longer and it has more time to do its work.”
Tizard says one or two puffs into the nose is all that’s needed in most cases to get good results. “This powder form is more effective than a liquid spray because the nose tends to clear liquid sprays out, while the powder turns into a sticky gel and can be a much more potent vaccine.
“Also, in this powder form, it can be stored for a long period of time, which is great news if thousands or even millions of doses should be needed in the case of an emergency.” Aloe vera plants are native to North Africa but can be found worldwide. There are more than 100 species of Aloe vera.
Tizard, who has conducted research using Aloe vera plants for many years, says the special carbohydrate in Aloe vera leaves is perfect for forming the gel-like substance needed to act as a carrier for the vaccine.
Tests using the new vaccine have been successful in animal trials, Tizard says, and tests on humans will begin next year.
“The plan was to try this first as a vaccine for bird flu in humans because there was an immediate concern there, and there still is the possibility that a widespread bird flu epidemic could break out somewhere in the world,” Tizard adds.
“But there is no reason to think this method of vaccine treatment would not work for many other diseases, too. We think it’s an exciting breakthrough that has great potential.”
Keith Randall | EurekAlert!
Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
11.12.2017 | Information Technology