Scientists from Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics recently created a novel combination vaccine that combines SpyCEP protein and an earlier vaccine called J8-DT and may effectively treat and eliminate Streptococcus A infections.
“We have successfully vaccinated mice with a vaccine that we believe will be suitable for humans,” Michael Good, principal research leader at the Institute for Glycomics, said. “We will spend the next six months developing that vaccine at a high level of purity suitable for humans and hope to start a clinical trial next year.”
Worldwide, approximately 500,000 people die from Streptococcus pyogenes every year. In light of these outstanding numbers, the researchers have scheduled human trials for early 2016.
“While Strep A can cause tonsillitis or school sores, it can sometimes develop a mutation in its DNA which causes the organism to spread to other tissues in your body,” Good said. “This is when it becomes dangerous and 10-15 per cent of infected people will die when that happens. But we have worked out how to combat that virulence.
“We vaccinated the mice with a protein which induces antibodies that protect the white cells that are needed to battle the infection when a mutation occurs,” he said. “When the white cells can work, they can attack the organism as long as there are other antibodies there. And this is when the J8-DT vaccine comes in.”