One Time Rabies Vaccine Coming?
Rabies is a terrible disease. It doesn’t just affect wildlife and unvaccinated pets – rabies kills people too. Worldwide the disease kills more than 55,000 people a year and half of these children. Most of these victims live in third world countries where vaccination and treatment are often unavailable – or unaffordable.
But those deplorable statistics may soon be a thing of the past. ScienceDaily Reports:
A person, usually a child, dies of rabies every 20 minutes. However, only one inoculation may be all it takes for rabies vaccination, according to new research published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases by researchers at the Jefferson Vaccine Center.
The immune response induced with this process is so substantial that only one inoculation may be sufficient enough, according to Dr. McGettigan. In addition, the vaccine appears to be efficient in both pre-exposure and post-exposure settings.
Currently, the World Health Organization standard for rabies infection is post-exposure prophylaxis. The complex regimen in the United States requires six different shots over 28 days: five of the rabies vaccine and one of rabies immunoglobulin.
The current standard vaccine is made from inactivated rabies virus, whereas the experimental vaccine is made from a live rabies virus. The virus is modified by removing the M gene, thus inhibiting its spread within the vaccine recipient.
An inactivated vaccine contains whole virus particles that have been treated so that they can’t infect host cells but are still recognized by the antibodies, B cells and T cells of the immune system. Inactivation is typically accomplished with solvents, detergents, pasteurization, ultraviolet light or acids. The new vaccine has been inactivated by genetically modifying the m gene, which is vital in building and budding off progeny viruses.
Developing countries do not have the resources to vaccinate people six times after exposure, so many of these 10 million do not receive the full regimen,” Dr. McGettigan said. “Therefore, simpler and less expensive vaccine regimens are needed. The alternative may also be to treat people pre-exposure, as they are with many of the current vaccines used. Although our vaccine was tested primarily to be a post-exposure vaccine, the data we collected show it would be effective as a pre-exposure vaccine as well.”
If it proves to be effective, this new vaccine could save human and animal lives and lead to more effective, less-expensive and less invasive vaccine regimens for pets. And it might lead to developing one shot vaccines for many more of the diseases affecting pets and people. This would be a very very good thing.