Minicell system has potential to protect against disease-causing infections.

Vaxiion Therapeutics and San Diego State University (SDSU) researchers discovered a minicell vaccine delivery system that has potential to protect against several disease-causing infections.

“We have found a vaccine delivery method that has an advantage over other nonliving vaccines in that the minicells stimulate all elements of the immune system that are required to protect people against infectious diseases,” reports Kathleen McGuire, SDSU biology professor and co-author of the paper published in the online and print versions of Vaccine

While most vaccines contain live micro-organisms, the ‘minicell’ vaccine mimics the live pathogen response without any risk of infection, according to the scientists. Additionally, they report, it is able to counter many infectious diseases in a cost-effective and efficient manner and could solve serious infectious disease problems in developing countries.

The SDSU team created a vaccine against the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), which causes a lethal form of meningitis in mice. The minicell vaccine protected 89% of immunized mice from death.

“Through this research, we’ve been able to create a platform technology that we hope will translate into many vaccine formulations,” says Vaxiion’s Matt Giacalone. Research funding was primarily provided by Vaxiion, which was founded by SDSU biology professor Roger Sabbadini. 

“Based on the success of this translational work, Vaxiion is developing a multicomponent vaccine against Salmonella, Shigella, and E. coli for use in human clinical trials,” Sabbadini says.

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