Printer Friendly

New roles for an old-trouper vaccine?

New roles for an old-trouper vaccine?

Using a venerable bacterium that is the basis of the widelyused tuberculosis vaccine, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City are hoping to develop a multipurpose vaccine effective against several major health problems, such as leprosy, malaria and parasitic diseases. Barry Bloom, William R. Jacobs and Margareta Tuckman report in the June 11 NATURE that they have designed a genetic-material-carrying "vehicle' called a shuttle phasmid that can enter bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) mycobacteria. Tuberculosis vaccines made from the BCG bacteria, which are harmless relatives of those causing leprosy and tuberculosis, have been injected in an estimated 2.5 billion people.

Created with DNA from a bacteriophage (a virus that infectsbacteria) combined with genetic material called a cosmid from the common bacterium Escherichia coli, the shuttle phasmid can infect mycobacteria and grow in E. coli cultures. According to the authors, the phasmic might be used to transfer genes of disease-causing microorganisms into BCG, making a single vaccine that prevents other diseases in addition to tuberculosis. Much of the current vaccine research is concentrating on the vaccinia virus as a carrier of foreign DNA, but the BCG model may avoid rare vaccinia-associated side effects. However, the New York group has yet to show that the inserted genes remain active inside the mycobacteria.
COPYRIGHT 1987 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:new uses for bacterium that is basis of tuberculosis disease
Publication:Science News
Date:Jun 20, 1987
Words:220
Previous Article:And he's housebroken.
Next Article:Trying to unravel 'The Great Imitator.' (systemic lupus erythematosus)
Topics:


Related Articles
NIELSEN SELECTED HART HIGH PRINCIPAL HE REPLACES FULLER, RETIRING AFTER DECADE.
LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Incumbent Hall, newcomer McCown capture LCC seats.
Progressive MS.
New litigation groups certified at Miami convention.
Dancing from the heart: for teachers at Maryland Youth Ballet, helping students with cerebral palsy experience the joy of moving was a personal...
Risk factor: throat cancer linked to virus spread by sex.
Errors mar Autumn issue.
Fill in tree rot?
Return of the American elm: a beloved classic, long missing from city streets, is starting to make a comeback.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters