Bacterium Could Deliver Vaccine with No Needles

Posted October 23rd, 2012 at 4:10 pm (UTC-5)
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A type of bacterium that forms long-lasting spores could be a vehicle for delivering vaccines without the use of needles.

Simon Cutting, a bacterial geneticist at Royal Holloway, University of London, worked with one of the most intensively studied bacteria, Bacillus subtilis. He discovered that the microorganism's spores could be used to carry into the body substances called antigens that trigger an immune response. He has evaluated this approach using antigen molecules from a number of important disease organisms, including tuberculosis, influenza and tetanus.

The Bacillus-based vaccine can be delivered as a nasal spray, an oral liquid, a capsule or a soluble film.

Cutting notes that because the spores are stable, these vaccines do not require refrigeration. In addition, oral vaccines are inexpensive to produce and easier to store. And because they do not use needles, they are safer to administer, especially in developing countries where the AIDS virus, HIV, is widespread.

Cutting is forming a company to develop the Bacillus vaccine technology.