Study maps vaccine for deadly pathogenic fungus

May 31, 2012

University of Alberta researchers have made breakthrough use of 3-D magnetic resonance technology to map the structure of a common fungus that is potentially deadly for individuals with impaired immune function. The work could pave the way for development of an effective vaccine.

The researchers targeted Candida, a pathogen that in its most virulent form has led to more than 70,000 in North American . Health officials estimate that death rate from this bloodstream infection is 40 per cent.

Lead U of A researchers Margaret Johnson and David Bundle as well as collaborators, at the Alberta Glycomics Centre, used for a three-dimensional examination of the fungus at an that measures less than 100 millionth of a centimetre.

The process, called molecular recognition allowed researchers to examine carbohydrate and antibody molecules related to the fungus to determine what sort of vaccine can best combat Candida.

Johnson described the three-dimensional approach to vaccinology as giving researchers a clear picture of how a vaccine must physically fit against the surface of the fungus.

The researchers used their findings to design test vaccines that produced positive results in containing the fungus. "Our multi-pronged strategy allowed us to observe a new type of molecular recognition," she said.

Johnson added if the private sector chooses to complete the development of a vaccine it could be 10 years before the drug is available.

Johnson and Bundle were assisted by U of A researcher Jonathan Cartmell and colleagues at the National University of Ireland and University of Georgia. The research was published May 25 in the .

Explore further: Scientist Working to Find Cure for Common Bloodstream Infection

Related Stories

Johnson & Johnson plans to buy Dutch vaccine group

September 17, 2010

US cosmetics and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson said on Friday it intended to acquire a Dutch vaccine maker Crucell which is active in developing countries for about 1.75 billion euros.

Johnson & Johnson complete friendly takeover of Crucell

February 22, 2011

Pharmaceutical and health care giant Johnson & Johnson announced Tuesday the successful completion of a friendly takeover of Dutch vaccine maker Crucell, for about 1.75 billion euros ($2.37 billion).

Fatal fungal infections resist newest class of drugs

September 7, 2011

Fungi that cause severe infections in those with compromised immune systems are resisting the action of the latest group of antifungal drugs. Uncovering their strategies for doing this will lead to more effective treatments, ...

Recommended for you

New electrical energy storage material shows its power

August 24, 2016

A powerful new material developed by Northwestern University chemist William Dichtel and his research team could one day speed up the charging process of electric cars and help increase their driving range.

Calcium channel blockers caught in the act at atomic level

August 24, 2016

An atomic level analysis has revealed how two classes of calcium channel blockers, widely prescribed for heart disease patients, produce separate therapeutic effects through their actions at different sites on the calcium ...

Bio-inspired tire design: Where the rubber meets the road

August 24, 2016

The fascination with the ability of geckos to scamper up smooth walls and hang upside down from improbable surfaces has entranced scientists at least as far back as Aristotle, who noted the reptile's remarkable feats in his ...

Selecting the right house plant could improve indoor air

August 24, 2016

Indoor air pollution is an important environmental threat to human health, leading to symptoms of "sick building syndrome." But researchers report that surrounding oneself with certain house plants could combat the potentially ...

LiH mediates low-temperature ammonia synthesis

August 24, 2016

Nearly half of the world's population is fed by industrial N2 fixation, i. e., the Harbor-Bosch process. Although exergonic in nature, NH3 synthesis from N2 and H2 catalyzed by the fused Fe has to be conducted at elevated ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.