Development of a self-adjuvanting vaccine for enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)
Infectious diarrhoea caused by ETEC is a major health problem worldwide. ETEC are the most common bacterial enteropathogens that are isolated from children less than 5 years of age in developing countries and account for several millions of cases of diarrhoea and several tens of thousands of deaths each year. ETEC are also the most common cause of traveller's diarrhoea affecting travellers from industrialised countries to developing regions of the world. Colonisation factor antigen, heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) and heat-stable enterotoxin (ST) are main targets for development of an effective vaccine against ETEC. We have chemically synthesised an ST toxin that mimics the native toxin with full activity and now, in collaboration with Professor Roy Robins-Browne laboratory, we have developed totally synthetic lipopeptide-based vaccine constructs incorporating ST. The results of our study demonstrate that these vaccine candidates induce strong anti-ST antibody responses and that the antisera neutralise the toxicity of ST.
Figure 1: Synthesis protocol for the assembly of correctly folded ST.
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