Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Live vaccine' for gonorrhea prevents reinfection

Date:
September 18, 2013
Source:
University at Buffalo
Summary:
A new gonorrhea treatment, based on an anti-cancer therapy, has successfully eliminated gonococcal infection from female mice and prevented reinfection, according to research published today.

A new gonorrhea treatment, based on an anti-cancer therapy developed by a Buffalo startup company, has successfully eliminated gonococcal infection from female mice and prevented reinfection, according to research published today by University at Buffalo scientists in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Through TherapyX Inc., an early stage biotech company in Buffalo, the UB researchers have a $300,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop the technology to treat and prevent gonorrhea infection. UB's Office for Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach has filed for patent protection.

More than 100 million new gonococcal infections occur each year around the globe, according to the World Health Organization, which warns of a pending gonorrhea crisis due to soaring drug resistance rates. The infection can be asymptomatic but it also can cause extremely painful urination in men and pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy, in women. It may also make individuals more susceptible to infection with HIV/AIDS.

"We developed the concept that gonococcal infection seems to inhibit specific adaptive immune responses, which is, in part, why people can become infected with it multiple times," explains Michael W. Russell, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and senior author on the paper. "It turns out that gonococcal infection very cleverly controls the immune system, inducing responses the bacterium can fight and suppressing the responses that it cannot fight."

In considering how to modify the immune response to gonococcal infection, Russell became intrigued with an anti-cancer therapy being developed by a UB medical school colleague.

Nejat K. Egilmez, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology at UB, and a co-author on the current paper, developed NanoCap, a sustained-release nanoparticle treatment that uses Interleukin-12, a cytokine or protein that helps stimulate an immune response against tumors that normally suppress immunity. Egilmez co-founded TherapyX Inc. to commercialize this and other drug formulations.

"We had the idea that maybe these IL-12 microspheres that they were developing against tumors could be used to generate an immune response against gonococcal infection as well," says Russell. "This research proves that they can."

The current study describes how the IL-12 microspheres, administered intravaginally in mice, resulted in the development of a specific adaptive immune response -- development of antibodies specific to N. gonorrhoeae -- and clearance of the infection within days. One month later, attempts to reinfect these mice with the bacterium failed, demonstrating that the animals had retained the ability to fight reinfection.

"With this treatment, we have reversed the immunosuppression that gonococcal infection normally causes and allowed an effective immune response to develop," says Russell. "It could be argued that when the IL-12 microspheres are administered this way, they serve as an adjuvant that, in effect, converts the gonococcal infection into a live vaccine, thus essentially vaccinating the very population that is at risk for repeat infections."

And because it may circumvent the growing resistance of this bacterium and others to antibiotics, this treatment method also may open up new approaches for the development of non-resistant treatments for other infectious diseases, Russell says.

"Here, we are delivering cytokines locally right to the site of infection," he says. "If we can use this method to teach the immune system to generate the right kind of response to other recalcitrant infections, then we could have a new approach to treat a range of infectious diseases without stimulating drug resistance."

The immunity developed in the mice lasted for one month. Russell plans to see if the immunity can last longer in mice and then ultimately, to test it in humans.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Yingru Liu, Nejat K. Egilmez, and Michael W. Russell. Enhancement of Adaptive Immunity to Neisseria gonorrhoeae by Local Intravaginal Administration of Microencapsulated Interleukin 12. Journal of Infectious Diseases, September 2013 DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jit354

Cite This Page:

University at Buffalo. "'Live vaccine' for gonorrhea prevents reinfection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130918101956.htm>.
University at Buffalo. (2013, September 18). 'Live vaccine' for gonorrhea prevents reinfection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130918101956.htm
University at Buffalo. "'Live vaccine' for gonorrhea prevents reinfection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130918101956.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. 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