- Is developing the first vaccine against amebiasis, a disease caused by a parasite called Entamoeba histolytica.
- The vaccine candidate is a nasal spray that may induce mucosal immunity to protect the gut mucosa.
The microscopic parasite thrives in human intestines and is transmitted by exposure to infested human feces.
Amebiasis causes stomach pain and bloody stools, but without proper antibiotics, may become life threatening.
A TREATABLE DISEASE
Either metronidazole or tinidazole, antiparasitic, coupled with hydration therapy, treats amebiasis with a 1-2 week regimen. The drugs are only accessible with a prescription from the doctor. Unfortunately, the most severe cases occur in areas of extreme poverty where treatment is inaccessible.
The only existing prevention from amebiasis is good hygiene, water sanitation, and careful handling of waste - especially soiled diapers, and disposal of sewage.
Amebiasis is prevalent in areas of the world with poor sanitation, where food, drinking water, and surfaces may be contaminated with the parasitic eggs from human feces.
In areas of extreme poverty where most cases occur, amebiasis kills approximately fifty-five thousand victims every year.
AAHI scientists are working with the University of Virginia, TechLab, the University of Alberta, and 3M to develop a nasal spray amebiasis vaccine candidate with the support of the National Institute of Health (HHSN272201800025C). The vaccine, administered as a nasal spray, induces a mucosal immune response, which may provide more effective protection against a disease that resides in the intestine. The vaccine is administered by a liquid atomization device.
The amebiasis vaccine candidate combines AAHI's GLA-3M-052-LS adjuvant formulation with the LecA protein antigen developed by the University of Virginia and TechLab to create a synthetic vaccine. AAHI's adjuvant formulation uses liposomes, spherical lipid particles, to deliver two different adjuvant molecules - AAHI's GLA and 3M's 3M-052. Each of these adjuvant molecules trigger different aspects of the immune system to enhance the protection provided by the vaccine. The anotomical deposition of the nasally sprayed vaccine formulation is characterized by the University of Alberta.
This first-ever amebiasis vaccine is anticipated to enter clinical trials in 2024.