Researchers create faster vaccine methodology

University of Rochester researchers have developed a new methodology for creating vaccines that uses genetically-altered bacteria to create an influenza vaccine more quickly than the typical vaccine creation method of using chicken eggs.

The standard vaccine is created when scientists infect millions of chicken eggs with the virus, which is then replicated in each egg for six months. The virus is purified and inactivated while the proteins are isolated and combined with preservatives and fillers to become vaccine, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.

The research for the new method was published in the journal Vaccine this month and showed that a small dose of the bacteria-made vaccine triggered a good immune response in 128 health people 18 to 49 years of age. This immune response would protect them against the influenza.

The vaccine, which was free of bacteria itself, was manufactured by the New Jersey-based VacInnate Inc. The study was a small, phase one test with one-tenth the dose of a regular flu vaccine, the Democrat and Chronicle reports. The known adjuvant flagellin was fused to the vaccine and may have boosted immune response. Adjuvants in flu vaccines are not currently used in the United States.

Bacteria has been used previously to produce human growth hormone and insulin. This is one of the first efforts creating a vaccine that has succeeded, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.

Dr. John Treanor of the University of Rochester Medical Center headed up the study and hopes that the bacteria-made vaccine will make vaccines available faster, make the more effective and help them to cost less so they can be used around the world, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.