About this project
Vaccines are among the most effective measures of intervention available in medicine. Some severe infectious diseases have been brought under control much thanks to effective vaccines and vaccination programmes. Apart from infectious diseases, other pathological states such as cancer and autoimmune diseases could also be of potential benefit from vaccines in the near future. Most available conventional vaccines require a sophisticated and costly system of production, distribution and administration including cold chain and sterile injections. Development costs may well exceed a hundred million Euro for a single new vaccine. To meet these challenges, other production systems than those existing are needed.
The immune system located in the mucosal tissue contains the largest mass of immune cells in the body and is the first barrier against invading microorganisms entering the body at these sites. The mucosal surfaces of the respiratory, gastrointestinal and genital tracts are interconnected and immunization of one of these tissues may confer protection in another. By using the mucosal surfaces as the route of vaccination it is possible to elicit both mucosal as well as systemic immune responses, which differ from parenteral vaccination that is efficient in activating systemic immune responses.
Therefore, the present research programme involves development of vaccines for a number of human infectious microorganisms such as HIV, Chlamydia trachomatis, Helicobacter pylori, and tick-born encephalitis (TBE), veterinary diseases, zoonoses (such as Rift Valley fever), and human autoimmune diseases. The programme involves development of vaccines for oral intake, in the form of tablets or fresh plant material (edible vaccine), and nasal administration (in the form of nasal sprays). We develop both suitable vaccine antigens and investigate different intake routes for optimum performance of the antigens. Some of the ideas developed during this research programme is at present evaluated for commercialization.
This project is partly connected to the project "Molecular farming".
- Ed Rybicki, University of Cape Town
- Encubator, Chalmers, Göteborg
- Heribert Warzecha, Technische Universität Darmstadt
- Kerstin Falk, SMI, Solna
- Lars Engstrand, Smittskyddsinstitutet
- Nils Lycke, Göteborgs universitet
- Nina Lagerqvist, SMI, Solna
- Peter Engström, Uppsala University
- Swedish NMR Centre, Göteborg University