Bigger winners in this development are American consumers and the poultry industry, which brings 7 billion chickens from processing plants to dinner tables each year. There are higher incidences of salmonella poisoning reported in recent years, and there is increasing evidence that salmonella bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Salmonella poses the greatest risk for very young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, such as AIDS patients.
A notoriously under-reported disease, salmonella infection is diagnosed about 40,000 times a year in the United States, although experts believe that nearly 4 million people become sickened by salmonella annually. Consuming undercooked eggs and raw eggs used in dressings and condiments are the most common avenues of infection. But the bacteria also are harbored in chickens that elude inspection and make it to the grocery store. Symptoms are diarrhea and nausea, usually lasting a couple of days. In more serious cases, dehydration can occur, and infection can lead to death.
A hallmark of his vaccine is that it is oral and designed to stimulate all three lines of defense: the secretory immune system, which protects the gastrointestinal tract, lungs and genital and urinary organs; the blood, which sends antibodies to fight toxins; and specialized killer cells. Most vaccines are injected and trigger only the second and third lines of defense.
In a related development, Curtiss also announced at the conference the success of a recombinant vaccine that uses the weakened salmonella vaccine as a carrier to immunize chickens against another profit-robbing disease in poultry, Escherichia coli (E. coli). This vaccine has been designed and constructed by Megan Health Inc. scientist Kenneth Roland usi
Contact: Tony Fitzpatrick
Washington University in St. Louis