A nasal hepatitis B vaccine has been shown to stimulate a dramatic immune response in animals without the need for multiple vaccinations, sterile syringes or refrigeration – all factors which impede the delivery of current hepatitis B vaccines.
Scientists at the University of Michigan and NanoBio Corp, found that a single dose of the nasal vaccine triggered a protective response in animals roughly 450 times greater than that achieved by currently approved human vaccines.
The study, reported in the journal PLoS One, has critical implications for developing countries where hepatitis B presents a serious health threat, said lead author Dr James Baker Jr.
Developing nations have difficulty providing proper refrigeration, sterile needles or three separate vaccinations, as are currently required.
As a result of these challenges and despite the existence of effective vaccines, more than 400 million children and adults worldwide are infected, and more than a million people die from hepatitis B each year.
“We have developed a new vaccine that is extremely safe, easy to administer, and which rapidly builds protection against hepatitis B infection,” Dr Baker said. “The same vaccine platform has also been shown to elicit significant immune responses in animal studies with influenza, anthrax, smallpox, RSV and HIV.”
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