Strep vaccine stirs antibody production | Science News

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Strep vaccine stirs antibody production

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10:27am, October 18, 2005

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

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