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A team of US based researchers has developed a new vaccine against lethal pneumonia. caused by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, including drug-resistant strains like MRSA.
The new vaccine by the research team, led by Patrick Schlievert, professor and chair of microbiology in the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine, targets toxins that are made and secreted by staph bacteria.
Test on animals successful
Using an animal model, the researchers showed that vaccinated animals were protected from disease even when they were infected with very high doses of bacteria.
Furthermore, not only did the vaccine protect the animals from dying, but seven days after vaccination there were no disease-causing bacteria remaining in the animals’ lungs.
The team also found that passive immunization- using serum from vaccinated animals to immunize other animals- was successful. Globally, pneumonia kills more than 1 million children younger than 5 years of age each year. This is greater than the number of deaths from any infectious disease, such as HIV infection, malaria or tuberculosis.
Almost 1 million children die of pneumonia every year!