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Insect Salivary Proteins as Potent Adjuvants for Enhancing Immune Responses

Posted May 03 2009 5:00pm

Description of Invention:
This invention relates to the discovery that specific sand fly salivary proteins have marked effects on the outcome of Leishmania infection. These proteins have the ability to stimulate strong Th1 and Th2 responses. The Th1 responses with one protein, PpSP15, result in immune protection while the Th2 responses to another protein, PpSP44, exacerbate infection. The protective protein enhanced a specific immune response to the infection, suggesting that it acts as an adjuvant to alter the environment and presentation of the parasite antigens.

These immunogenic salivary proteins, capable of driving Th1 or Th2 responses, can be used as adjuvants in vaccine development for a broad spectrum of diseases that require different immune responses. They may therefore be used to enhance immune responses to pathogens other than Leishmania parasites. They are also very potent in their effect, and small doses are sufficient to elicit a strong immune response. This potency can reduce the need to use chemical adjuvants, which often require large mounts of material and can have deleterious side effects.

  • Vaccine for Leishmania parasite and other pathogenic infections
  • Potent adjuvant for a broad spectrum of diseases

Efficient, potent, and less toxic than many chemical adjuvants

Development Status:
Early Stage

Jesus G Valenzuela (NIAID)

Patent Status:
HHS, Reference No. E-303-2008/0
PCT, Application No. PCT/US2009/053941 filed 14 Aug 2009

Relevant Publication:
  1. F Oliveira, PG Lawyer, S Kamhawi, JG Valenzuela. Immunity to distinct sand fly salivary proteins primes the anti-Leishmania immune response towards protection or exacerbation of disease. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2008 Apr 16;2(4):e226. [ PubMed abs ]

Licensing Status:
Available for licensing.

Collaborative Research Opportunity:
The NIAID Office of Technology Development is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the Insect Salivary Proteins as potent immune response adjuvants. Please contact Charles Rainwater at or 301.496.2644 for more information.

Infectious Diseases - Therapeutics
Infectious Diseases - Vaccines
Infectious Diseases - Research Materials

For Additional Information Please Contact:
John Stansberry Ph.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-435-5236
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 1915

Updated: 05/2009

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