Pamela Schnupf of Paris Descartes University in France will develop an oral vaccine to prevent infectious diarrhea in children by engineering a non-pathogenic bacteria to express pathogen molecules that can be safely delivered in bacterial spores. Diarrheal disease caused largely by Shigella and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children under five years of age in low-resource settings. Segmented filamentous bacterium (SFB) is non-pathogenic and normally colonizes the human gut during infancy and stimulates the immune system to protect against infections. They will establish methods to genetically engineer SFB to express selected antigens from enterotoxigenic E.coli and test whether it can stimulate an immune response and protect against infection using established mouse models.
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