Human trials for Streptococcus A vaccine

Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics has launched human trials for a vaccine against Streptococcus A, the germ that causes rheumatic fever.

Severe damage to a patient's heart is just one of the possible long term consequences of . Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has twice had heart surgery to repair damage suffered from rheumatic fever when he was a child.

Professor Michael Good, Principal Research Leader at the Institute for Glycomics has devoted more than 20 years to beating this disease. The key to the vaccine lies in targeting a particular protein found on the surface of Strep A bacteria.

"Previous studies have shown that the vaccine induces a very effective immune response in rabbits and mice," Professor Good said.

"The next important step is to ensure that it is safe and does not cause any adverse effects in people, in particular that the vaccine itself doesn't cause any ."

Professor James McCarthy, Head of the Infectious Diseases program at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research will carry out the year-long trial involving 20 healthy adults.

"Participants will be monitored very closely for the next 12 months," Professor McCarthy said.

"Each volunteer will be given two doses of the and we'll be watching carefully for any signs of heart problems."

Rheumatic fever is a major issue in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in .

"Infection rates in these remote Queensland communities are among the highest in the world. Nine out of every ten sufferers in this State are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people," Professor Good said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New approaches to combating rheumatic fever in children

Feb 05, 2013

Leading international researchers and doctors are meeting at the University of Otago, Wellington this week to identify new approaches to reducing the very high levels of rheumatic fever in New Zealand and Australia.

Recommended for you

Thyroid disease risk varies among blacks, Asians, and whites

14 hours ago

An analysis that included active military personnel finds that the rate of the thyroid disorder Graves disease is more common among blacks and Asian/Pacific Islanders compared with whites, according to a study in the April ...

The key to easy asthma diagnosis is in the blood

17 hours ago

Using just a single drop of blood, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has developed a faster, cheaper and more accurate tool for diagnosing even mild cases of asthma.

Younger adults hit hardest this flu season

19 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The H1N1 flu was the predominant influenza strain in the United States this year, but it packed a lot less punch than in 2009 when it caused a worldwide pandemic, health officials report.

User comments