Methods and Composition for Diagnosing and Preventing a Group B Streptococcal Infection (SJ-02-0032)

St. Jude Reference #SJ-02-0032


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).

Licensing Opportunities

This invention is co-owned with the University of Florida and the University of Utah. We are currently seeking licensing opportunities in all fields for the development of this technology. Contact:

Contact the Office of Technology Licensing (Phone: 901-595-2342, Fax: 901-595-3148) for more information.