Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Potential vaccine treats and prevents deadly streptococcal toxic shock

05.09.2019

A new vaccine developed by Griffith University Institute for Glycomics researchers has the potential to treat and prevent toxic shock caused by invasive streptococcal disease, which kills more than 160,000 people every year.

"Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome is an acute condition like meningococcus - if you get exposed to the organism you can be dead within a matter of days or less. So we're hopeful that what we've discovered can help save lives," program leader and laboratory head Professor Michael Good said.


This is Streptococcus bacteria.

Credit: Griffith University

Dr Manisha Pandey, the lead researcher on the study, said streptococcus (Strep A) is the same bacteria group that causes common and non-life-threatening ailments such as school sores and tonsillitis, which are easily spread via coughing, sneezing and sharing food and drinks.

She said in about 1 in 100 cases, the organism enters the body and becomes invasive streptococcal disease (ISD). ISD can be life-threatening, with mortality rates exceeding 25% in even the best-equipped facilities tasked with treating it.

When ISD occurs, some strains can make more toxins than others and cause streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS).

STSS occurs when a toxin made by the Strep A organism binds to a human protein on certain cells and activates T-cells in the immune system that prompt a cytokine or highly inflammatory response.

This agitates white blood cells which then release potent immune hormones that can result in death.

The international research team, which includes scientists from Melbourne and Edmonton, Canada, used a transgenic (DNA altered genes) mouse model to develop a world-first STSS vaccine candidate - named 'J8' - that showed a 1000-1,000,000 fold reduction of the bacterial burden in the spleen and blood after infection.

Antibodies developed from the streptococcal M protein and streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin (SpeC) also cleared the infection in treated transgenic mice and ablated the mitogenic and inflammatory activity caused by the M protein.

"About four years ago, we became aware of a cluster of bad cases of streptococcal infection resulting in a couple of deaths due to invasive streptococcal disease and toxic shock," Prof Good said.

"Invasive streptococcal disease and toxic shock are increasing in prevalence around the world and are particularly prevalent among disadvantaged populations - it occurs in remote parts of the state among Aboriginal communities, and affects the very young and very old the most.

"We were looking at a vaccine candidate to prevent streptococcal infections. At the time we were looking at it to prevent rheumatic heart disease, which is also caused by Strep A, and thought that the vaccine might prevent streptococcal toxic shock.

" However, that doesn't help people who come in who haven't been vaccinated and those who are acutely ill with toxic shock.

"In our transgenic mice model, we showed that two proteins are important for the disease - Superantigen toxin (SpeC) and the M protein, which our vaccine candidate J8 comes from.

"We vaccinated the transgenic mice - and it could prevent toxic shock, but as importantly we were able to make antibodies in normal mice which we could use to treat sick mice.

"When the transgenic mice became very ill, we treated them with the vaccine antibodies and they recovered overnight - the organisms as well as the toxin were cleared from their blood."

Prof Good said now that antibodies have been generated, the next step would be to make monoclonal antibodies (antibodies made by identical immune cells that are clones of a unique parent cell), that could be suitable for a human trial study of J8's efficacy against invasive streptococcal disease.

The research has been published in Science Advances.

Media Contact

Carley Rosengreen
c.rosengreen@griffith.edu.au
046-857-4720

 @Griffith_Uni

http://www.griffith.edu.au 

Carley Rosengreen | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Enzymes as double agents: new mechanism discovered in protein modification
07.07.2020 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht Protein linked to cancer acts as a viscous glue in cell division
07.07.2020 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Guido Bonati is the new Chief Technology Officer and Head of Research & Development at FISBA AG

08.07.2020 | Press release

Quick notes in the genome

07.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Limitations of Super-Resolution Microscopy Overcome

07.07.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>