Vaccines help protect against serious infections caused by pneumococcal bacteria. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of middle ear infections, pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis in young children.
But the vaccines do not stop the germ from spreading.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists found about 70 proteins the bacteria need to spread and set up shop (colonize) on someone new.
Several of these proteins are on the bacteria’s surface. Scientists used the proteins to develop a vaccine. The vaccine stopped the germ from moving into newborn mice.
“The results suggest that developing combination vaccines may be an effective strategy for blocking the spread of this bacteria and preventing serious infections,” said Jason Rosch, PhD, of the St. Jude Department of Infectious Diseases.
Cell Host & Microbe published a report on this work.