Researchers have identified a single component of the plague causing bacterium that can be used as a vaccine.
This single "subunit" could potentially be used to create a safer form of a T cell-stimulating plague vaccine.
"'To date, there has been little progress in the development of safe and effective vaccines for plague or similar bioweapons," Stephen Smiley, a leading plague researcher and Trudeau Institute faculty member, said.
"'Our data identifies a single component of the plague causing bacterium seen by T cells. This could be a key discovery as we seek to develop a plague vaccine," he said.
The lab envisions that this subunit might be added to others already being studied for their ability to induce antibody responses.
Together, these multiple subunits might safely induce both antibody and T cell responses thereby better combating plague.
The new data is featured in the July issue of The Journal of Immunology.