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Researchers use Cucumber mosaic virus to create vaccine against Alzheimer's

Research from the Universities of Dundee and Oxford has shown how combining the tetanus vaccine with a viral particle that normally affects cucumbers can be used to treat psoriasis and allergies, and may even protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists led by Dundee’s Dr John Foerster and Oxford’s Professor Martin Bachmann, were able to take the protein coat of cucumber mosaic virus and incorporate a tetanus vaccine-derived protein structure known to stimulate the immune system in order to create vaccines to treat multiple chronic diseases.

The vaccine showed positive results in models of psoriasis and cat allergy and was shown to raise antibody levels thought to be beneficial in Alzheimer’s disease. These vaccines can be either preventative, which is the hope for Alzheimer’s but also therapeutic, meaning they can cure a disease like psoriasis after it has already been established.

More research is required to test the efficacy of the therapeutic in a clinical setting, but the Dundee-Oxford study raises the possibility of hundreds of thousands of people being spared the ravages of chronic diseases.

“Our research shows that this technique works in mice and, importantly, our new vaccine technology shows that it is likely to be a more effective type of vaccine than existing ones in older people. Since many patients with chronic conditions like psoriasis are elderly this technology may work much better to obtain effective vaccines.”

The paper is published in the journal Nature Vaccines. The researchers are now looking to begin clinical testing of the vaccine and have already received regulatory approval to initiate testing in humans. Present antibodies for psoriasis treatment typically need to be injected at least once a month to keep working, and cost around £10,000 per patient annually. A vaccine would offer much more affordable treatment.

Source: University of Dundee

Publication date: 10/25/2017


 


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