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Is an edible vaccine in our near future?

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By Tim Sandle
Posted May 20, 2012 in Health
Immunizations taken with food? Sounds more pleasant than a jab in the arm, but could it be a reality? Scientists in Australia are getting ever closer to this revolutionary method that could protect people from many common diseases without the trauma and at a fraction of the cost.
This story was reported in Outbreak News.
The idea is that of Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Barry Marshall, who claims the potential for edible vaccines is enormous. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Professor Marshall believes various strains of Helicobacter pylori – the bacterium that won him his Nobel Prize, when he helped show it to be the cause of stomach ulcers – could be modified with DNA from pathogens and used as an oral delivery platform for vaccines that would be cheaper and more easily produced than injections.
His initial unpublished research was delivered at the World Vaccine Congress Asia in Singapore, where Professor Marshall presented positive results from a trial of five strains of the bacteria on patients in Perth. It established the safe use of Helicobacter in people, and could be linked to mouse studies that successfully used the bacteria to carry vaccines for diseases such as whooping cough and cholera, Professor Marshall said. Unlike laboratory-made vaccines, he argued, the modified Helicobacter could be shipped in small quantities to the developing world, where huge batches of vaccine could be brewed in a fermenter at a fraction of the cost of other immunizations and administered in a substance like milk without the need for a doctor or syringe.
Marshall also says this method would be good for developing booster vaccines for those of us who haven’t been vaccinated since childhood. There could be different strength vaccines for different purposes. And unlike vaccines as we know them today, you wouldn’t need a doctor or nurse to administer them, cutting out a lot of the cost.
Source: Outbreak News

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