Scientists at The Forsyth Institute and Tufts University have succeeded in describing and validating a unique system of oral vaccine delivery using one common bacteria found in the mouth. The findings were published in Microbes and Infection and have identified Streptococcus mitis as a successful vector for oral mucosal immunization. Further research will determine its potential clinical use in tuberculosis vaccine development. According to the World Health Organization, 9 million people were diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2013, the latest year in which data is available, and 1.5 million people died from the disease. It is second only to HIV/AIDS in prevalence.
“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. 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,” said lead researcher Dr. Antonio Campos-Neto, who is a senior member of the department of immunology and infectious diseases at The Forsyth Institute. Dr. Campos-Neto is also the director for the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research, and lecturer at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
This paper was authored by Campos-Neto et al, published by Elsevier in Microbes and Infection, and titled “Streptococcus mitis as a Vector for Oral Mucosal Vaccination.” The paper outlines materials, methods, and results that demonstrate promising advances in making mass immunization safer, less costly, and more accessible to developing countries.
(Source: Forsyth Institute; ScienceDaily, December 15, 2014)