Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Prepare An Innovative Vaccine Against Leishmaniasis

Date:
July 21, 2006
Source:
Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona
Summary:
Researchers in Spain are developing the first vaccine against leishmaniasis produced using insect larvae. The new vaccine is based on introducing specific genes and proteins from the protozoan Leishmania infantum into the patient. Although it is currently in the preliminary phase, scientists believe it could be much more effective than conventional vaccines.

Jordi Alberola.
Credit: Image courtesy of Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona

Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona researchers working in collaboration with the INIA (National Institute of Agricultural and Food Research and Technology) and Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital in Badalona, near Barcelona, are developing the first vaccine against leishmaniasis produced using insect larvae. The new vaccine is based on introducing specific genes and proteins from the protozoan Leishmania infantum into the patient. Although it is currently in the preliminary phase, scientists believe it could be much more effective than conventional vaccines.

Leishmaniasis is one of the biggest global health problems. In our part of the world, it is produced by the protozoan Leishmania infantum, and dogs are the main reservoir. The disease is spread through the bites of the phlebotomy, an insect similar to the mosquito. Clinical manifestations go from light skin lesions to visceral complications and even death. The disease affects more than 12 million people in the world, and 250 million more are at risk. Current treatments are not satisfactory, and although an effective vaccine would be the best way to confront the disease, conventional vaccines have failed.

UAB researchers working in collaboration with the INIA and Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital are working on the development of an unconventional vaccine that could be more effective in treating the disease. In an effort to make the vaccine as specific as possible, the researchers are conducting epidemiological tests on dogs and humans to find out whether the degree of the illness and the differences between regions, species (dog or humans) and infected individual persons are related to the presence of different antibodies against the infectious agent, the protozoan Leishmania infantum.

To create the vaccine and the reagents used in the epidemiological studies, the scientists have isolated the protozoan gene and inserted it into a virus that affects insects (baculovirus) and have infected the larvae of a small worm (Trichoplusia ni) with them. These larvae act as bioreactors and produce large quantities - and at a much lower cost than with conventional reactors involving microorganisms - of the proteins that are codified by these genes and are responsible for the production of antibodies in those affected. Each person would be administered a DNA vaccine with the genes that codify for the proteins of the protozoan that generates most antibodies in the geographical region. Later, the person would be vaccinated again, but this time directly with the proteins associated with this genes (produced cheaply in insect larvae). The aim is to increase effectiveness. The vaccines could be used as prevention or therapeutically.

"Selectivity for each individual and the combination of the vaccination with DNA and protein will probably make this new vaccine much more effective than current ones. Furthermore, the method of producing them in insect larvae would considerably reduce the costs," explains Jordi Alberola, the main researcher for the project.

Collaborating in the research, directed by Jordi Alberola of the UAB Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutic, and Toxicology and member of the UAB Drug Analysis Service, are the bioreactors research group led by Dr Josι Αngel Martνnez Escribano of the National Institute of Research and Agri-Food Technology, and the group les by Dr Guillem Sirera of Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital in Badalona.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona. "Scientists Prepare An Innovative Vaccine Against Leishmaniasis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060721095010.htm>.
Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona. (2006, July 21). Scientists Prepare An Innovative Vaccine Against Leishmaniasis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060721095010.htm
Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona. "Scientists Prepare An Innovative Vaccine Against Leishmaniasis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060721095010.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) — The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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