Vaccine Candidate Genes Directed Against Virulent Group B Streptococcus

Group B Streptococcus algalactiae (GBS) is the most common cause of bacterial infection in human neonates. Type III GBS is responsible for most bacterial meningitis and a large proportion of other invasive infections. Over 90% of type III infections are caused by a genetically related group of organisms (type III-3). Using subtractive techniques, the inventors have pulled out two genes, Spb1 and Spb2, unique to type III-3 GBS which code for probable for surface proteins. Adhesion to and invasion of host cells by GBS is a prerequisite for infection. After invasion of respiratory epithelium or endothelium, bacteria directly or indirectly gain access to the bloodstream, resulting in bacteremia and focal infections. Spb1 and Spb2 have been shown to contribute to GBS invasion of a variety of epithelial cells, including respiratory epithelium.
Such proteins are promising candidates for vaccine development, since unlike polysaccharide vaccines that are general to all GBS, these antigens are specific to the most pathogenic of this type of bacteria. Although recombinant protein production is the most obvious route to vaccine development, DNA vaccines could be contemplated as well. Unlike most other patented group B Streptococcus vaccines, this composition of matter is based on cloned genes rather than fractionated bacterial protein or polysaccharide extracts.

The antibacterial market is one of high value, representing an area of substantial interest for novel products. The annual worldwide market for bacterial infection therapeutic products is expected to reach $26 billion during 2002. The U.S. market share for new generation antibiotics alone is anticipated to reach approximately $10 billion this year. This invention can be utilized by companies directed toward antibacterial applications.

Stage of Development
*A PCT patent application PCT/US00/17082 Isolated Genes from Virulent Group B Streptococcus Agalactiae has been filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (International Publication Number WO 00/78787 A1).
*This pre-clinical research is currently available under any sort of licensing or sponsored research arrangement.

Additional Info
*Takahashi S, Detrick S, Whiting AA, Blaschke-Bonkowksy AJ, Aoyagi Y, Adderson EE, Bohnsack JF. "Correlation of Phylogenetic Lineages of Group B Streptococci, Identified by Analysis of Restriction-Digestion Patterns of Genomic DNA, with infB Alleles and Mobile Genetic Elements" J Infect Dis 2002 Oct 1;186(7):1034-8
*Bohnsack JF, Whiting AA, Bradford RD, Van Frank BK, Takahashi S, Adderson EE. �Long-range mapping of the Streptococcus agalactiae phylogenetic lineage restriction digest pattern type III-3 reveals clustering of virulence genes� Infect Immun 2002 Jan;70(1):134-9
*Bohnsack JF, Takahashi S, Detrick SR, Pelinka LR, Hammitt LL, Aly AA, Whiting AA, Adderson EE. �Phylogenetic classification of serotype III group B streptococci on the basis of hylB gene analysis and DNA sequences specific to restriction digest pattern type III-3� J Infect Dis 2001 Jun 1;183(11):1694-7
*Adderson EE, Takahashi S, Bohnsack JF. �Bacterial genetics and human immunity to group B streptococci� Mol Genet Metab. 2000 Sep-Oct;71(1-2):451-4

Inventor(s): John Bohnsack, Elisabeth Adderson

Type of Offer: Licensing

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