Salmonella vaccine "one step closer," research team says

According to a research team led by a University of California - Davis immunologist, science may be one step closer to creating a vaccine against salmonella.

A study to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates the identification of eight antigens to provoke immune responses common in humans and mice during salmonella infections, Food Safety News reports.

"These antigens will provide the research community with a foundation for developing a protective salmonella vaccine," Stephen McSorley, an immunologist and associate professor in the UC Davis Center for Comparative Medicine, said, according to Food Safety News.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year there are 40,000 cases of salmonellosis in the United States. Because most cases aren't diagnosed or reported, the actual number of infections may be more than 1.2 million.

Children under the age of five are most likely to get salmonellosis, which is the cause of approximately 400 deaths each year.

To work toward a vaccine, the research team created an array of 2,700 proteins, approximately 60 percent of all proteins produced by salmonella bacteria. Fourteen proteins served as antigens in the blood serum of infected humans and eight of those proteins were antigens in both mice and humans. This suggests that some of the antigens could be used in a vaccine, Food Safety News reports.