US AND CANADA: Collaborative works leads to food borne illness vaccine
Posted: August 24th, 2009 - 4:25pm
Source: Washington Post
After a quarter century of research, Navy scientist Patricia Guerry has made ground-breaking discoveries that could lead to the first vaccine for a foodborne intestinal illness that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide each year.
An effective vaccine could reduce the scope of an illness that causes severe diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, headaches and joint pain. It also could potentially save tens of thousands of young lives in developing countries where the pathogen has proved deadly.
The vaccine candidate against the pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, developed by Guerry, her colleagues at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring and Canadian scientist Mario Monteiro, successfully protected against infection in monkeys during testing last year and is slated for human clinical trials.
Campylobacter is the leading cause of global food borne illness. The pathogen is responsible for more than two million cases in the United States and several hundred million worldwide, each year. The infection can be difficult to treat because of widespread antibiotic resistance.
"Her breakthroughs have been innovative and had a major impact on biomedicine," Trevor Trust said, vice president of research for the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.