The global impact of the coronavirus pandemic has prompted renewed attention to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Researchers at Osaka Metropolitan University have made huge progress in the fight against pneumococcal pneumonia, one of the leading causes of respiratory death worldwide.
Despite the existence of vaccines against pneumococcal infections such as otitis media, sinusitis, and meningitis, the prevalence of pneumococcal pneumonia remains high.Currently, there are approximately 100 new serotypes Streptococcus pneumoniae It has been identified that an increase in pneumococcal infections caused by serotypes not covered by the vaccine is a concern. This situation underscores the need for a more universal vaccine.
Building on their success in mucosal responses in 2019, the research group led by Professor Satoshi Uematsu developed a mucosal vaccine that induces antigen-specific mucosal immune responses, primarily immunoglobulin A (IgA), on the target mucosal surface. Associate Professor Kosuke Fujimoto of the Department of Immunology and Genomics, Osaka Metropolitan University Graduate School of Medicine, is working to narrow the gap in the effectiveness of pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination.
To successfully develop a new pneumococcal vaccine, the research team combined its proprietary mucosal vaccine technology with pneumococcal surface proteins that cover multiple serotypes. Experiments in mice and macaques demonstrated the vaccine’s efficacy in suppressing pneumococcal pneumonia in the target animal population.
“This research successfully developed a vaccine formulation that may be used in humans, which will advance the development of this vaccine for clinical applications,” said Professor Fujimoto. “This next-generation vaccine technology is expected to contribute to the treatment of infectious diseases in the future. .”