Vaccine for Protection Against Shigella sonnei Disease
Posted Sep 30 2008 5:00pm
Description of Invention: Shigellosis is a global human health problem. Transmission usually occurs by contaminated food and water or through person-to-person contact. The bacterium is highly infectious by the oral route, and ingestion of as few as 10 organisms can cause an infection in volunteers. An estimated 200 million people worldwide suffer from shigellosis, with more than 650,000 associated deaths annually. A recent CDC estimate indicates the occurrence of over 440,000 annual shigellosis cases in the United States alone, approximately eighty percent (80%) of which are caused by Shigella sonnei. Shigella sonnei is more active in developed countries. Shigella infections are typically treated with a course of antibiotics. However, due to the emergence of multidrug resistant Shigella strains, a safe and effective vaccine is highly desirable. No vaccines against Shigella infection currently exist. Immunity to Shigellae is mediated largely by immune responses directed against the serotype specific O-polysaccharide. Claimed in the invention are compositions and methods for inducing an immunoprotective response against S. sonnei. Specifically, an attenuated bacteria capable of expressing an S. sonnei antigen comprised of the S. sonnei form I O-polysaccharide expressed from the S. sonnei rfb/rfc gene cluster is claimed. The inventors have shown that the claimed vaccine compositions showed one hundred percent (100%) protection against parenteral challenge with virulent S. sonnei in mice.
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