Group B streptococci (GBS) causes life-threatening infections in newborns and affects about 1 in every 2,000 babies in the United States. Not every baby who is born to a mother who tests positive for GBS will become ill and researchers at the University of Florida, University of Utah and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered an immunologic marker useful for diagnosing a highly virulent GBS infection. They identified a novel surface antigen, designated epsilon antigen, on GBS which encodes a unique serine-rich repeat protein (ssr-2) that is expressed by the highly pathogenic RDP III-3 lineage. This protein is a useful diagnostic marker for the pathogenic form of the disease and a good candidate for vaccine development.
Group B streptococcus, Epsilon antigen, vaccine
Granted Patents or Published Applications
US Patent No. 7,588,773
Related Scientific References
Seifert KN, et al; "A unique serine-rich repeat protein (srr) and novel surface antigen (epsilon) associated with a virulent lineage of serotype III Streptococcus agalactiae" Microbiology 152(Pt4):102901040 (2006).
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