Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Type Of Oral Vaccine Against Botulism May Lead To Protection Against A Range Of Diseases

Date:
November 10, 1997
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
Molecular biologists at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, have created an oral vaccine against botulism. The researchers believe that such a vaccine could be used as a prototype in developing future vaccines for other diseases such as diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus.

Molecular biologists at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, have created an oral vaccine against botulism. The researchers believe that such a vaccine could be used as a prototype in developing future vaccines for other diseases such as diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus. Eventually, they say, their discovery may lead to a range of oral vaccines that could be inserted into common foods.

Lance Simpson, Ph.D., professor of medicine, Jefferson Medical College, and director of the Jefferson Clinical Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and his colleagues, Nikita Kiyatkin, Ph.D., and Andrew Maksymowych, Ph.D., used the sophisticated tools of molecular biology to create a modified and non-toxic version of botulinum toxin, which is nature’s deadliest poison. The toxin, which is the cause of the disease botulism, is ordinarily encountered as a form of food poisoning. When someone ingests the toxin, it survives the harsh conditions of the gastrointestinal (GI) system and moves into the general circulation. It is eventually delivered to the central nervous system and causes paralysis.

The researchers have created a novel form of the toxin that retains the ability to survive the GI system and enter the general circulation, yet no longer can poison nerves. As a result, the novel molecule is an effective oral vaccine against botulism. The scientists, reporting in November in the journal Infection and Immunity, detail the results of experiments in which they successfully immunized mice against botulism.

One immediate use of a botulism vaccine, Dr. Simpson notes, would be in veterinary medicine. Animals such as racehorses and farmyard chickens are susceptible to the disease, making such a vaccine of interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

According to Dr. Simpson, there may be far greater applications of the work in both veterinary and human medicine.

“The very properties that this molecule possesses are the ones that would be essential for all oral vaccines,” he explains. “The molecule could be used as a carrier to transport other potential vaccines from the gastrointestinal system into the general circulation, where they would evoke antibodies. If this were to work, the novel carrier molecule could be the critical element needed to create a host of new oral vaccines.”

One use of this vaccine technology would be for common diseases such as diphtheria and tetanus. Dr. Simpson sees a possibility for an even more intriguing use.

“There are Third World countries in which injectable or even oral vaccines are still not practical; the health systems and finances are inadequate,” he explains. “What might be a more practical solution is to put the genes for the carrier-vaccines into a plant such as a banana. As the banana grows, it would automatically synthesize the oral vaccines. Whenever a person ate the banana, that person would also be consuming oral vaccines. This might be a way to combat illnesses that are endemic to some parts of the developing world.”

Dr. Simpson and his colleagues are now constructing the genes that will encode the carrier-vaccine molecules. They will test the ability of the molecules to act as oral vaccines in the laboratory. If the work is successful, the next step will be to conduct human trials.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "New Type Of Oral Vaccine Against Botulism May Lead To Protection Against A Range Of Diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/11/971110065903.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (1997, November 10). New Type Of Oral Vaccine Against Botulism May Lead To Protection Against A Range Of Diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/11/971110065903.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "New Type Of Oral Vaccine Against Botulism May Lead To Protection Against A Range Of Diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/11/971110065903.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins