Exploring how to get more out of vaccine protection

Memphis, TN, May 21, 2019

Hannah Rowe and Jason Rosch

Hannah Rowe, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Rosch laboratory, is the first author, pictured with corresponding author Jason Rosch, Ph.D.

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.

Read the news release

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