First vaccine developed to help control autism symptoms
Washington: University of Guelph researchers have created the first-ever vaccine for gut bacteria common in autistic children that may help control some autism symptoms.
Brittany Pequegnat and Guelph chemistry professor Mario Monteiro developed a carbohydrate-based vaccine against the gut bug Clostridium bolteae.
C. bolteae is known to play a role in gastrointestinal disorders, and it often shows up in higher numbers in the GI tracts of autistic children than in those of healthy kids.
More than 90 per cent of children with autism spectrum disorders suffer from chronic, severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Of those, about 75 per cent suffer from diarrhea, according to current literature.
"Little is known about the factors that predispose autistic children to C. bolteae," said Monteiro.
Although most infections are handled by some antibiotics, he said, a vaccine would improve current treatment.
"This is the first vaccine designed to control constipation and diarrhea caused by C. bolteae and perhaps control autism-related symptoms associated with this microbe," he said.
Autism cases have increased almost six fold over the past 20 years, and scientists don`t know why. Although many experts point to environmental factors, others have focused on the human gut.
Some researchers believe toxins and/or metabolites produced by gut bacteria, including C. bolteae, may be associated with symptoms and severity of autism, especially regressive autism.
Pequegnat, a master`s student, and Monteiro used bacteria grown by Mike Toh, a Guelph PhD student in the lab of microbiology professor Emma Allen-Vercoe.
The new anti- C. bolteae vaccine targets the specific complex polysaccharides, or carbohydrates, on the surface of the bug.
The vaccine effectively raised C. bolteae -specific antibodies in rabbits. Doctors could also use the vaccine-induced antibodies to quickly detect the bug in a clinical setting, said Monteiro.
The vaccine might take more than 10 years to work through preclinical and human trials, and it may take even longer before a drug is ready for market, Monteiro said.
But this is a significant first step in the design of a multivalent vaccine against several autism-related gut bacteria, he said.
The groundbreaking study appeared this month in the journal Vaccine.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Will Shiv Sena join hands with Congress to stop BJP from entering BMC?
- Watch: PM Narendra Modi addressing rally in Imphal
- Coimbatore: PM Narendra Modi unveils 112-foot tall bust of Lord Shiva
- Panel discussion on Farooq Abdullah's remark on terrorists
- DNA: Why depression cases are increasing rapidly in India?
- WATCH: Kieron Pollard's epic celebration after destroying Lahore Qalandars in Dubai
- Indian doctor rescued from ISIS recounts horror, says 'they forced me to watch videos, shot me thrice'
- Ind vs Aus: Mohammed Azharuddin says Jayant Yadav and Ishant Sharma should be replaced in next Test
- Mitchell Johnson takes a dig at Anil Kumble over calling Steve O'Keefe 'steady'
- India vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 3: As it happened...