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LSHTM researchers part of a new collaborative to develop Strep A vaccine

Researchers from the Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) are part of a new collaborative project with the University of Dundee and the International Vaccine Institute and Gyeongbuk Institute for Bio-Industry in South Korea aiming to develop the first recombinant glycoconjugate vaccines for Strep A.
Quote by Prof Brendan Wren: “Group A Strep bacteria cause devastating disease, especially in children. We look forward to working on  developing affordable  vaccines, particularly for individuals in low income countries where they are most needed.”

Group A Streptococcus – commonly referred to as Strep A – kills more than 500,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization. While deaths in the UK are not commonplace, an outbreak in 2022 claimed at least 30 lives and generated widespread public concern.

Group A Strep bacteria can cause a variety of illnesses, including mild disease like scarlet fever and strep throat, but also severe invasive disease including sepsis, meningitis, ‘flesh-eating disease’ and if left untreated, rheumatic heart disease, that often leads to heart failure and death.

Professor Brendan Wren, Co-Director of the Vaccine Centre underlined the urgent need for this vaccine “Group A Strep bacteria cause devastating disease, particularly in children. We look forward to working with the University of Dundee and the International Vaccine Institute to develop affordable Group A Strep vaccines using novel technology, particularly for individuals in low income countries where they are most needed.”

Dr Helge Dorfmueller, Principal Investigator at the University of Dundee and lead scientist of the collaboration. “Strep A is a deadly pathogen, but at present there is no vaccine against these bacteria. Our preclinical data shows that our novel approach can deliver a universal Strep A vaccine that is affordable for all.”

The research is part of a £2.3 million project funded by the RIGHT Foundation.

 

Further information:

The RIGHT Foundation is a Korean funding agency dedicated to support global health R&D, established in 2018 by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea (MOHW) the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Korean life science companies with the mission of alleviating the disproportionate burden of infectious diseases in the low-middle income countries (LMICs). Since its establishment, the RIGHT Foundation has committed 78.8 billion KRW to support 58 projects.

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