From San Francisco, at a meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
An experimental vaccine against the microbe that causes strep throat can induce a potent immune response in adults, a U.S.–Canadian research team reports. The finding suggests that the vaccine is ready for large-scale testing in adults and children.
The vaccine targets group A streptococcus bacteria, which cause scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, and kidney damage as well as the throat infections that often circulate among school-age children. It also aims at the microbes—sometimes called flesh-eating bacteria—responsible for necrotizing fasciitis.
Researchers have identified more than 120 variations, or subtypes, of group A strep, and each subtype has a slightly different version of a surface molecule called the M protein. The new vaccine uses portions of the M protein found on 26 of these subtypes to spur a broad immune reaction. Those subtypes include all of t