Novel Anthrax Vaccine

Remember the anthrax scare? Even though anthrax is not currently Front Page News, scientists are busy developing new anthrax vaccines. One such vaccine being tested in mice sounds promising. It is a dual-action vaccine that simultaneously protects both against the anthrax bacteria and the deadly toxins released by the bacteria. This is important because the anthrax vaccine currently in use only targets the toxins.

Comment: If this vaccine is successfully tested in humans, it might help dispel the specter of a future anthrax attack.

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Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors,

Mouse study gives new view of anthrax toxin

Sept. 2, 2003 -- A large-scale study of anthrax in mice has yielded new information about immune system response to anthrax bacteria, according to scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health. The discovery that toxins released by the bacteria do not behave as previously believed should redirect approaches to anthrax drug design, notes NIAID Senior Investigator Stephen Leppla, Ph.D., whose research is published in today's issue of the "Journal of Clinical Investigation".

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