Accession Number:

ADA190178

Title:

The Search for a New-Generation Human Anthrax Vaccine

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH INST OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES FORT DETRICK MD BACTERIOLOGY DIV

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1987-11-19

Pagination or Media Count:

12.0

Abstract:

Anthrax is a disease primarily of herbivores, but humans can become infected through contact with infected animals or animal products. The etiological agent, Bacillus anthracis, possesses two primary virulence factors a poly-D-glumatic acid capsule and an exotoxic mixture of three proteins protective antigen PA, edema factor EF, and lethal factor LF. None of the three proteins individually possesses demonstrable toxic activity however, intravenous injection of PA LF kills mice, rats, and guinea pigs, whereas intradermal injection of PA EF produces edematous lesions in the skin of guinea pigs and rabbits. The combination of PA LF is termed lethal toxin, whereas PA EF is referred to as edema-producing toxin. The conventional designation for mixtures of all three components is anthrax toxin. The genes encoding PA, EF, and LF are located on a 174-kilobase kb plasmid, pXO1 the genes responsible for capsule synthesis are on a 91 kb plasmid, pXO2. In the United States, the currently licensed human vaccine against anthrax designated here as MDPH-PA consists of aluminum hydroxide-absorbed, supernatant material, primarily PA 11, from fermenter cultures of another toxinogenic, nonencapsulated strain, V770-Np1-R. Immunization with MDPH-PA requires a series of six doses within 18 mo, followed by yearly boosters. Immunization occasionally results in local pain and inflammation, and there is some evidence indicating that MDPH-PA may have diminished efficacy against certain virulent strains of B. The need for an improved human vaccine against anthrax is apparent.

Subject Categories:

  • Pharmacology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE