Professor John Fraser
University of Auckland
A vaccine to limit the severity of staphylococcal infections
36 months

Lay summary

Staphylococcus aureus is a ubiquitous human pathogen causing both superficial and invasive life-threatening infections. It is progressively harder to treat staphylococcal infections using traditional antibiotics because of rapidly acquired antibiotic resistance. There is no anti-staphylococcal vaccine but it is now a high priority both locally and globally. The Staphylococcal Superantigen-like proteins (SSL) are common secreted virulence factors that help the bacteria evade host immunity. The SSLs are promising vaccine candidates because i) they are found in all isolates ii) they display limited diversity and iii) engineered strains lacking ssl genes have reduced survival in human blood. This project will identify the best combination of SSL proteins to be formulated into a single inactive vaccine that will be tested in pre-clinical and future clinical trials.

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