Vaccine offers approach to blocking infections

A novel vaccine developed at The Scripps Research Institute at La Jolla may offer a new way to block infections without sparking bacterial resistance--a process that gradually dilutes the effectiveness of antibiotics. Reporting in Chemistry and Biology, the team focused on blocking the communication link among bacteria--which is necessary to make them virulent. The team designed a molecule that spurs production of antibodies by the immune system.

"Bacteria basically sense they have enough of their buddies around to allow them to say, 'OK, we're in a favorable environment to start turning on certain genes,'" says team leader Professor Kim Janda, director of the Worm Institute for Research and Medicine at Scripps Research. But if you stop bacteria from communicating, they can't organize an assault on the body.

- read the release on the vaccine program