Study seeking to isolate antibodies against rabies virus

April 30, 2018, Vanderbilt University

Few people die from rabid animal bites in the United States thanks to the near-universal availability of human rabies immune globulin and rabies vaccine, which are given as separate shots as soon as possible after exposure to the rabies virus.

That isn't the case in resource-poor countries. Around the world, an estimated 60,000 people die from rabies every year because they can't afford or don't have prompt access to the necessary combined treatment.

Immune globulin (the antibody part of the blood) is obtained from people who have previously been vaccinated against rabies. Rabies-vaccinated donors are few and far between in many countries, however, and as a result immune globulin is often in short supply.

To meet the challenge, James Crowe Jr., MD, and his colleagues in the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center have begun an effort to isolate against the . Monoclonal antibodies can be mass-produced and manufactured as biological drugs.

If the research is successful, anti-rabies could be developed as the standard treatment for animal bites throughout the world, Crowe said. That would solve the chronic shortage of human and save many lives.

Because identifying the initial antibodies as candidates for development is a small project, Crowe's lab is pursuing a "crowdfunding" approach to raising the $18,000 it needs to complete the research by the end of 2018 rather than apply for government or foundation support.

"Crowdfunding allows people who are interested in this work to participate and support it directly," said Crowe, the Ann Scott Carell Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

"The funding mechanism allows us to update the donors directly in real-time on our progress," Crowe added. Donors also can submit questions or comments for the researchers.

Explore further: Clinical trial for rabies monoclonal antibody

More information: For more information, see … t-for-rabies-disease

Related Stories

Clinical trial for rabies monoclonal antibody

August 7, 2012
A pivotal clinical trial for an anti-rabies human monoclonal antibody (RMAb) being developed through a collaborative partnership between MassBiologics of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Serum Institute ...

Researchers identify potential antibody treatment for H7 avian flu

March 9, 2016
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have isolated human antibodies against a type of bird flu that has killed more than 200 people in China since 2012 and which may pose a worldwide pandemic threat.

6-year-old Florida boy dies of rabies contracted from a bat

January 15, 2018
A 6-year-old Florida boy has died from rabies he contracted after being scratched by an infected bat.

Recommended for you

More frequent checks control MRSA in newborns, but can hospitals afford them?

May 22, 2018
The more often a hospital can check its newborns for deadly MRSA germs, the more likely it will be that they are contained, according to a new study.

Could we predict the next Ebola outbreak by tracking the migratory patterns of bats?

May 22, 2018
Javier Buceta, associate professor of bioengineering, Paolo Bocchini, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and postdoctoral student Graziano Fiorillo of Lehigh University have created a modeling framework ...

Helping preterm infants grow bigger kidneys would prevent kidney disease later in life

May 21, 2018
Nephrons are the microscopic blood-filtering units inside our kidneys that convert waste products into urine, regulate our electrolyte levels and our blood pressure.

Kidney docs worry over no dialysis for undocumented immigrants

May 21, 2018
(HealthDay)—Undocumented immigrants in the United States are often denied treatment for kidney failure until they have a life-threatening emergency. Now a new study finds that the doctors and nurses who treat them are frustrated ...

Clues found to early lung transplant failure

May 21, 2018
Among organ transplant patients, those receiving new lungs face a higher rate of organ failure and death compared with people undergoing heart, kidney and liver transplants. One of the culprits is inflammation that damages ...

How to ethically conduct clinical research during public health emergencies

May 21, 2018
Following the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine established a committee to assess the clinical trials conducted in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. In ...


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.