Researchers develop new, safer method for making vaccines
While vaccines are perhaps medicine's most important success story, there is always room for improvement. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University's Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) appear to have done just that. As explained in a newly published research paper, Mark Slifka, Ph.D., and colleagues have discovered a new method for creating vaccines that is thought to be safer and more effective than current approaches. The research results are published online in the journal Nature Medicine.
"Most vaccines have an outstanding safety record," explained Slifka. "It is important to keep in mind that no medical achievement has saved more lives than the simple act of vaccination. However, for many diseases, we have struggled to develop an effective vaccine. In other cases, vaccines may be protective, but come with rare but serious side effects. For instance, the live oral polio vaccine was very effective at stopping polio outbreaks and transmission, but was also responsible for eight to 10 cases of vaccine-associated polio in the United States each year. This problem was solved in 2000 when the U.S. switched to a formaldehyde-fixed 'dead' form of the vaccine. Our goal is to make vaccines like these safer and potentially even more effective by pioneering an entirely new approach to vaccine development."
Slifka's approach is remarkable because it is the first to demonstrate that hydrogen peroxide can inactivate viruses for use as vaccines. Although hydrogen peroxide has long been known as an effective antiseptic and is often used to sterilize medical equipment, it was believed that it would be too damaging to be useful in vaccine development. It turns out that this previous notion was incorrect. In fact, peroxide may turn out to be one of the best new approaches to future vaccine design.
In the study published this week, Slifka's lab generated not one, but three vaccines.
"We wanted to demonstrate that this is truly a platform technology and not just a one-hit-wonder," explained Slifka. "For this reason, we chose three unrelated model systems and demonstrated protective vaccine-induced immunity in all three cases."
The three diseases targeted by these viruses are West Nile virus, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (a relative of lassa fever virus, known to cause hemorrhagic fever in Africa) and vaccinia virus (widely known for its previous use in the smallpox vaccine.)
An Oregon-based biotech company, Najít Technologies, Inc., is hoping that these advances in vaccine technology will result not only in new vaccines but also new jobs in the Portland area.
"This new approach really gives a boost to an area of vaccine development that's been stagnant for some time," said Ian Amanna, Ph.D., associate vice president for research at Najít Technologies.
"Because of these advances, we've been increasing our workforce and putting together a group of very talented researchers. In partnership with OHSU, we're excited to have the opportunity to further develop this technology into commercial vaccines that can offer protection for at-risk individuals. These vaccines will not only be important to international travelers, but also to the people living in endemic regions. These places are often in developing countries with limited resources for preparing and testing life-saving vaccines and we are looking forward to the day that we can bring these new vaccines to the countries that need them the most."
Najít Technologies, founded by Slifka and colleagues using methods first discovered at OHSU, hopes to continue working together with academic institutions such as OHSU, ONPRC, and Washington University-St. Louis to create new and better vaccines for some of the world's biggest problems including West Nile virus, yellow fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Journal reference: Nature Medicine
Provided by Oregon Health & Science University
- Single vaccines to protect against both rabies and Ebola Aug 25, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- New vaccine strategies could safely control Rift Valley fever Jun 22, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- New West Nile and Japanese encephalitis vaccines produced May 30, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- New tuberculosis vaccine is developed Jun 06, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Tomato vaccines: New bird flu weapon? Mar 15, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
12 hours ago From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as ...
Medical research 22 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Scientists investigating the interaction of a group of proteins in the brain responsible for protecting nerve cells from damage have identified a new target that could increase cell survival.
Medical research May 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
New findings by researchers carrying out experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science's Advanced Photon Source (APS) help explain why some drugs that interact with two kinds of human serotonin ...
Medical research May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Peptide molecules derived from the body's natural immune system can help boost the body's defence against life-threatening blood poisoning, joint University research has uncovered.
Medical research May 17, 2013 | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
A new Montréal study conducted by Dr. May Faraj, associate research professor at the Université de Montréal and invited scientist at the IRCM, along with her research team and medical collaborators, shows ...
Medical research May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
An increasing number of U.S. children are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that require interventions to resolve, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The latest makeover to a massive psychiatric tome honored by some, reviled by others and even called the "Bible" of mental disorders is being released Saturday with a host of new changes.
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new case of the deadly coronavirus has been detected in Saudi Arabia where 15 people have already died after contracting it, the health ministry announced on Saturday on its Internet website.
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
14 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
A ground-breaking advance in colonoscopy technology signals the future of colorectal care, according to research presented today at Digestive Disease Week(DDW). Additional research focuses on optimizing the minimal withdrawal ...
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0