Vaccine Prevents Prion Disease In Mice

Armen Hareyan's picture
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An oral vaccine can prevent mice from developing a brain disease similar to mad cow disease.

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The disease spreads when an animal eats the body parts of other animals contaminated with prions. The disease causes dementia and abnormal limb movements.

Prion is a protein that is also an infectious agent. The proteins are so similar to proteins found normally that the immune system does not fight them off. To develop a vaccine that would stimulate the mice's immune system, researchers attached prion proteins to a genetically modified strain of Salmonella.

For the study, the mice were orally vaccinated with a safe, attenuated Salmonella strain, which expressed the prion protein. Then they were divided into two groups

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