Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New technique brings us closer to HIV, Hepatitis C vaccines

Date:
March 25, 2014
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
Plans for a new type of DNA vaccine to protect against the deadly HIV and Hepatitis C viruses have taken an important step forward, with researchers applying for a patent based on groundbreaking new research. The work has focused on utilizing the so-called "accessory" or "messenger" cells in the immune system, called dendritic cells, to activate an immune response. These are a type of white blood cell that play a key role during infection and vaccination.

Plans for a new type of DNA vaccine to protect against the deadly HIV and Hepatitis C viruses have taken an important step forward, with University of Adelaide researchers applying for a patent based on groundbreaking new research.

Professor Eric Gowans from the University's Discipline of Surgery, based at the Basil Hetzel Institute at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, has submitted a patent application for what he describes as a relatively simple but effective technique to stimulate the body's immune system response, thereby helping to deliver the vaccine.

While pre-clinical research into this vaccination technique is still underway, he's now searching for a commercial partner to help take it to the next stage.

Professor Gowans' work has focused on utilizing the so-called "accessory" or "messenger" cells in the immune system, called dendritic cells, to activate an immune response. These are a type of white blood cell that play a key role during infection and vaccination.

"There's been a lot of work done in the past to target the dendritic cells, but this has never been effective until now," Professor Gowans says. "What we've done is incredibly simple, but often the simple things are the best approach. We're not targeting the dendritic cells directly - instead, we've found an indirect way of getting them to do what we want."

Professor Gowans and his team have achieved this by including a protein that causes a small amount of cell death at the point of vaccination.

"The dead cells are important because they set off danger signals to the body's immune response. This results in inflammation, and the dendritic cells become activated. Those cells then create an environment in which the vaccination can be successful," Professor Gowans says.

Using a micro-needle device provided by United States company FluGen Inc., the researchers can puncture the skin to a depth of 1.5mm, delivering the vaccination directly into the skin. "We chose the skin instead of the muscle tissue, which is more common for DNA vaccines, because the skin has a high concentration of dendritic cells," Professor Gowans says.

Because the technique has the potential to translate to other, more common viruses in addition to the devastating HIV and Hepatitis C, the project attracted seed funding from The Hospital Research Foundation, and additional funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The research is still in the pre-clinical phase, with a patient study due next year. "This technique has worked much better than I anticipated," Professor Gowans says. "We're now ready for a commercial partner to help us take this to the next phase, and we're in discussions with some potential partners at the moment."

Professor Gowans will present some of his work at the forthcoming 5th Australasian Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics Development Meeting (AVID2014), 7-9 May in Melbourne, Australia. Last month he was an invited speaker at the 23rd Australian Conference on Microscopy and Microanalysis (ACMM23) in Adelaide. A paper about this work has already been published recently in Immunology & Cell Biology.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Tessa Gargett, Branka Grubor-Bauk, Tamsin J Garrod, Wenbo Yu, Darren Miller, Lee Major, Steve Wesselingh, Andreas Suhrbier, Eric J Gowans. Induction of antigen-positive cell death by the expression of Perforin, but not DTa, from a DNA vaccine enhances the immune response. Immunology and Cell Biology, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/icb.2013.93

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "New technique brings us closer to HIV, Hepatitis C vaccines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325094129.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2014, March 25). New technique brings us closer to HIV, Hepatitis C vaccines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325094129.htm
University of Adelaide. "New technique brings us closer to HIV, Hepatitis C vaccines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325094129.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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