A vaccine has been developed by a US scientist that has worked against different strains of Staphylococcus aureus in mice . This has been described as a promising step towards designing a vaccine which can be used in people at high risk of infection.
The mouse study was done by researchers at the University of Chicago and was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Olaf Schneewind and colleagues at the University of Chicago have created this vaccine by combining four proteins of the bacterium, and this has shown success in the mouse study by protecting the animals from the organism. Of the nineteen proteins found in S.aureus , these four stimulated the highest immune response.
This method is called rational drug design. The traditional method involving the use of a complete organism which has been weakened, has not been successful against S.aureus.
S. aureus is responsible for most of the infectons aquired in hospitals , causing endocarditis, food poisoning, toxic shock syndrome, lung infections and other diseases which have killed thousands . It has also added millions to hospital expenses.
The organism has also become extremely drug resistant, from 2% in 1972 to 63% in 2004, the CDC said.
An online report describing the vaccine`s development appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.