If all goes well, scientists will soon introduce the
world's first vaccine for heart disease that can significantly lessen plaque
buildup in the arteries.
Researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in the US have entered into the final stage of developing the much-awaited vaccine, confirming significant arterial plaque reduction in concept testing in mice.
As part of the study, Klaus Ley, a pioneer in the field of vascular immunology, used two mouse peptides for validating his vaccine approach.
"Many research studies over the last 15 years have demonstrated inflammation's critical role in heart disease. By creating a vaccine to reduce inflammation in the arteries, we hope to significantly lessen the accompanying plaque buildup," Ley said.
The vaccine is said to be functioning more like the desensitisation process used in allergy shots. Allergy shots are designed to teach the individual's immune system to endure the allergen.
The vaccine could also target strokes, which are a product of plaque buildup in arteries.
Klaus Ley collaborated with fellow scientist from La Jolla Institute Alessandro Sette, and Dr Tse of Wayne State University, Michigan, According to the researchers the next step would be to test promising candidate peptides in specially engineered mice with an immune system closer to humans.
The scientists said that the vaccine could begin human clinical trials in as little as three years.
The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.