UCLA researchers in the Department of Medicine have developed a novel vaccine platform against Tier 1 Select Agents to prevent infectious diseases such as tularemia, anthrax, plague, and melioidosis.
Tier 1 Select Agents are infectious agents that pose a severe threat to the public and can cause diseases such as tularemia, anthrax, plague and melioidosis. Select Agents classified as Tier 1 present a high level of risk as they can be weaponized and cause high mortality if employed by bioterrorists. Even with appropriate antibiotic treatment, patients who acquire pneumonic tularemia, anthrax, plague or melioidosis suffer extremely high mortality rates. Despite the high risks posed by these bacteria, there is a lack of vaccinations available to protect humans and animals from Tier 1 Select Agents. Currently there is no licensed, FDA-approved vaccine for tularemia, plague, or melioidosis available in the USA (according to the CDC). While there is a vaccine combating anthrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed), it is cumbersome to administer and suboptimally protective, requiring 5 doses followed by annual boosters with unknown duration of efficacy. This situation leaves humans and animals susceptible to bioterrorism by Tier 1 Select Agents and does not provide options for infection prevention.
UCLA researchers have developed a versatile vaccine platform for preventing infections caused by Tier 1 Select Agents. This platform vaccine can be administered intradermally, subcutaneously, intramuscularly, intranasally, by inhalation, or orally. Compared to other unlicensed live vaccine strains, this invention is much safer and can induce a strong immunogenic response in the recipient. The easily cultured vaccine is inexpensive to manufacture in large quantities and does not require expensive purification. Additionally, the single platform design allows for manufacture of the various vaccines by identical methodology and for vaccination against multiple pathogens at the same time and with the same vaccination schedule, reducing cost, simplifying regulatory approval, and enhancing its attractiveness to patients.
This invention has been developed and tested in mice.
Tier 1, Select Agents, Vaccines, Antigens, T cells, Bioterrorism, Tularemia, Anthrax, Plague, Melioidosis, Infection, Francisella tularensis, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia pseudomallei