Human trials for Streptococcus A vaccine

February 28, 2013

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.

Explore further: Acute heart drugs should be reconsidered for Maori and Pacific Islanders

Related Stories

New approaches to combating rheumatic fever in children

February 5, 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

Gut environment could reduce severity of malaria

February 8, 2016

Microorganisms in the gut could play a role in reducing the severity of malaria, according to a new study co-authored by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Louisville.

Easier diagnosis for fungal infection of the lungs

January 18, 2016

A new clinical imaging method developed in collaboration with a University of Exeter academic may enable doctors to tackle one of the main killers of patients with weakened immune systems sooner and more effectively.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.