A Live Cell Vaccine for Neisseria meningitidis
A modified N. meningitidis expressing reduced lipooligosaccharide (LOS) limits pathogen virulence and stimulates a therapeutic immune reaction.
UIRF Case #:02051
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Post DM, Ketterer MR, Phillips NJ, Gibson BW, Apicella MA. The msbB mutant of Neisseria meningitidis strain NMB has a defect in lipooligosaccharide assembly and transport to the outer membrane. Infect Immun. 2003 Feb;71(2):647-55.
Level of Development
General: Experimental Proof of Concept
Researchers at the University of Iowa have identified and mutated a key enzyme in the production of LOS in N. Meningitidis. LOS, the key virulence factor in N. Meningitidis, is the principle glycolipid present in the outer membrane of the pathogen and is composed of oligosaccharide chains, the core, and lipid A. The lipid A portion of this structure is known to be the element responsible for many of the adverse effects seen with gram-negative bacterial infections. msbB, an acyl transferase responsible for secondary acyl substitutions in the lipid A, is the bacterial gene that researchers modified to limit the effects of LOS. This modification results in an LOS with reduced toxicity as well as a reduced ability to stimulate cytokine secretion. Bacterial cells that have been modified in this manner appear to be attenuated enough to serve as effective bacterial vaccines.
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