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Microbiology Australia Microbiology Australia
Issue 3

Vaccines

Vaccines are, without question, one of the most cost-effective and socially acceptable health interventions yet developed and expanding vaccine coverage is a key enabling strategy for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. As a challenge, the expanded and effective use of existing vaccines sits alongside the development of new and improved vaccines for preventing diseases which continue to have a major impact on humanity – diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Because vaccine development is stringently controlled by regulato...

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Pathogen discovery in infectious disease investigation

Pathogen discovery is and always has been an integral part of our fight against infectious diseases. However, as technology continues to develop, enabling the identification of an increasing number of previously unknown agents, this process of discovery and characterisation of pathogenic agents is becoming even more important. From novel diagnostics to vaccines and therapeutics, pathogenic discovery plays a key role in shaping the overall control and prevention strategy. Due to the nature of the author’s work area, the focus of this brief revie...

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The future of mucosal HIV vaccines

Approximately 33 million people live with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and 2.6 million new infections are acquired each yea1. The development of an effective HIV vaccine that induces robust mucosal immunity represents a major global public health challenge. Large human efficacy trials of simple antibody-based and cytotoxic T cell-based vaccines have failed to provide any protection. The recent RV144 HIV vaccine efficacy trial in Thailand using a prime-boost combination of vaccines, however, showed modest efficacy (31%, p=0.04 on the p...

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A mountain higher than Everest

Challenging scientific hurdles are just the beginning for those who work on neglected tropical diseases. The really big problem is the reason the diseases are neglected in the first place: they are limited mostly to very poor people and hence there are no commercial markets for new treatments.

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Developing attenuated vaccines to control mycoplasmoses

Temperature-sensitive strains of Mycoplasma gallisepticum, M. synoviae and M. hyopneumoniae, created using chemical mutagenesis, have proven to be effective vaccines against the three major mycoplasmoses causing disease in poultry and pigs. The use of these vaccines in poultry has significantly reduced reliance on antimicrobial therapy, with a consequent reduction in usage of macrolides. Recent advances in development of methods for genetic manipulation of mycoplasmas has enhanced our capacity to identify virulence genes, offering the prospect ...

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Herpes simplex virus vaccines

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 cause herpes labialis and genital herpes respectively, although genital herpes caused by HSV-1 is increasing in adolescence. Adult HSV-1 seroprevalence in western countries is 55% to 80% (80% in Australia) and acquired in two peaks, in infancy and adolescence. HSV-2 seroprevalence is highly variable geographically, reaching 12% in Australian adults but up to 90% in African countries. After initial HSV-1 or 2 infection, asymptomatic shedding occurs in the mouth and genital tract respectively in nearly all...

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Adjuvants for the next generation of vaccines

The use of aluminium phosphate to enhance the immune response to vaccines was first described by Glenny and Pope in 19261, and for the ensuing 70 years aluminium-based adjuvants (alum) were the only adjuvants used in registered human vaccines. It is only in the last two decades that novel adjuvants have been utilised in the formulation of newly licensed human vaccines.

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A vaccine to provide strain-transcending immunity to group A streptococci

Organisms such a Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus), Plasmodium spp parasites and HIV present significant obstacles to vaccine development. They can subvert the immune system and present dominant antigens that can display a vast array of allelic types of variants. In spite of these obvious decoys, the main strategy to develop vaccines for these organisms has been to focus on dominant antigens or epitopes. The obvious reason for this approach is that such antigens and epitopes are easy to define. Early successes are often posted larg...

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Getting closer to a vaccine against malaria

Despite recent progress in the control of malaria in several countries, this disease still kills nearly one million young children in sub-Saharan Africa each year and it contributes significantly to poverty in many of the poorest countries in the world. The effective use of existing control tools (insecticide-impregnated bed nets, residual insecticide spraying and early case detection with effective treatment) should eliminate malaria from additional regions but global eradication of malaria is not feasible without the development of a highly e...

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Dengue vaccines

Dengue is globally the most important arboviral infection of humans with an estimated 100 million infections per annum and 2.5 billion people at risk in >100 countries. The burden of dengue is substantial in economic terms and in the strain it places on already fragile health systems. There are currently no licensed vaccines or therapeutics and disease control relies, mostly unsuccessfully, on suppressing the mosquito vector.

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The role of the public sector and philanthropy in vaccine development

Vaccine development is now big business, with the global market, which is dominated by five research-based companies, growing at around 12% per annum and estimated to reach US$50 billion by 2016.

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ASM Affairs, September 2011

"Retirement of Dr Ailsa Hocking; Millis-Colwell Award 2011; ASM 2011 Images from the conference; Conference Report; ASM Awards; FASM Q&A; Parasitology & Tropical Medicine Masterclass 2011 – Cairns, Queensland"

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