Study: Mouth bacteria may help with oral vaccine delivery

Scientists and researchers at the Forsyth Institute and Tufts University recently discovered that Streptococcus mitis, a common mouth bacteria, may help with oral vaccinations.

The study's findings, published recently in Microbes and Infection, indicate that Streptococcus mitis is a successful vector for oral mucosal immunization. More research will determine its true potential for clinical usage in tuberculosis vaccine development.

"Although injected vaccines are traditionally viewed as effective means of immunization to protect internal organs, these vaccines rarely induce strong mucosal protection in the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and genitalia,” Dr. Antonio Campos-Neto, senior member of the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Forsyth Institute, said. “In contrast, oral vaccinations have the potential to affordably, safely and effectively protect these areas, thus assisting in the fight against global health threats, including diarrheas and diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS.”

Campos-Neto is also the director for the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research and a lecturer at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He collaborated with Forsyth Institute researchers Nada Daifalla, Mark Cayabyab, Emily Xie, Philip Stashenko and Margaret Duncan, as well as Saul Tzipori and Hyeun Bum Kimb of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, in an article titled "Streptococcus mitis as a Vector for Oral Mucosal Vaccination.”

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