Breakthrough for MRSA vaccination

A vaccine that contains four staphylococcus bacteria proteins can effectively protect against MRSA infection, a US study in mice has found.

The researchers showed that the vaccine, developed using a novel technique known as reverse vaccinology, was effective at preventing a number of strains of the infection.

Previous attempts to develop an MRSA vaccine using killed or live attenuated bacteria have only provided partial immunity.

The researchers tried to create a vaccine that would provide much broader protection against MRSA by recognising the specific cell-surface proteins responsible for the virulence of the bacteria.

Eight staphylococcal genome sequences were analysed, leading to the identification of 19 surface proteins that are present in all known strains of MRSA.

The researchers then vaccinated mice with each protein to see which would give immunity to Staphylococcus aureus infection.

Four proteins provided significant reduction in bacterial load. These were then used to create a single vaccine, which was given to mice that were subsequently infected with one of five MRSA strains.

Mice given the vaccine had a significantly improved survival rate for all strains. Against two of the strains, the vaccine produced 100 per cent survival, compared with 20 and 40 per cent survival in unvaccinated mice.

Dr Olaf Schneewind, professor of microbiology at the University of Chicago and director of the study, described this as an important breakthrough.

‘This organism has learned how to evade nearly all of our current antibiotics. So, generating protective immunity against invasive MRSA has become an important goal,’ he said.

PNAS 2006; 103: 16,942–7

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Sign outside BMA House

GP suicide sparks calls for measures to protect doctors from spiraling workloads

The government and policymakers must do more to safeguard doctors and NHS staff from...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Living with long COVID

In August we’re bringing you some of the best interviews from series one of the podcast....

NHS sign outside a building

Surrey GP took her own life after her job 'became overwhelming'

A Surrey GP, described as a 'dedicated, passionate and much loved' doctor, has taken...

Jeremy Hunt

Hunt tells Tory leadership hopefuls to halt pension tax charges on doctors now

Former health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for an immediate suspension...

GP in consulting room

GPs forced to prescribe antidepressants to young people denied mental health support

GPs are being forced to prescribe antidepressants to children and young people who...

Smartphone

Babylon accounts cast doubt on future of GP at Hand

NHS GP services for more than 100,000 patients registered with the controversial...