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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Scientists Develop Oral Vaccine Against Salmonella Infection.

Salmonella is responsible for one of the most common food-borne illnesses in the world. In the US alone, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are about 1.4 million cases with 15,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths each year. It is thought that for every reported case, there are about 39 undiagnosed infections. Overall, the number of salmonella cases in the US has not changed since 1996. Salmonella infection in people with compromised immune systems and children under the age of three are at increased risk of invasive non-typhoidal salmonellosis, which causes systemic infection. There are about one million cases globally per year, with a 25 per cent fatality rate. Scientists from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) in the US have developed an oral vaccine against Salmonella. The researchers explained that Oral vaccination is the simplest and least invasive way to protect people against salmonella infection. The oral vaccine has the added advantage of using the same pathway that salmonella uses to wreak havoc on the digestive system. The current study detailed in an article published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology ,showed that the researchers analysed the immune responses of mice that received the vaccination by mouth as well as how they responded to a lethal dose of salmonella," said Ashok Chopra, professor at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) in the US. They found that the orally administered vaccines produced strong immunity against salmonella, showing their potential for future use in people. There is no vaccine currently available for salmonella poisoning but antibiotics are the first choice for treating salmonella infections, but the fact that some strains of salmonella are quickly developing antibiotic resistance is a serious public health concern. Salmonella can also be used as a biological weapon as seen in Oregon when a religious cult intentionally contaminated restaurant salad bars and sickened 1,000 people.