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Blood Fluke Vaccine in the Pipeline

by Medindia Content Team on June 24, 2006 at 2:36 PM
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Blood Fluke Vaccine in the Pipeline

Blood flukes are parasitic worms which kill about hundreds and thousands of people across the world. Hence the Australian scientists have developed a vaccine for the parasitic worms. They have the capacity to penetrate human skin and cause bladder cancer, renal failure, liver fibrosis and even death. So far it has infected about 200 million people worldwide. The vaccine stimulates the immune system and thereby helps the body to detect the worm and destroys it. It is proved to be very effective during the trail studies. It has reduced the rate of infection by more than 60 %.

Blood flukes, or schistosomes, are found in fresh waters of the tropics in developing countries and is ranked in the second place next to malaria. Dr Alex Loukas Head of the Helminth Biology Laboratory at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research said that that the vaccine is a more practical solution and would save millions of lives across the world. In case of the existing conventional drugs the patient has to rely on it through out his life. But the vaccine once taken offers immunity against these parasitic worms for a period of five to ten years. The research team is waiting to get approval for funding and then would test on humans.

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