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Yeast Infection Vaccine in the Works

Researchers Report Success in Early Lab Tests for Candida Vaccine
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Aug. 25, 2008 -- A vaccine against Candida albicans, a cause of yeast infections, shows promise in early lab tests on mice.

Researchers report that news in this week's "online early" edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The scientists -- who include Hong Xin, MD, PhD, of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and Research Institute for Children at Children's Hospital in New Orleans -- created the vaccine to target six proteins found in the cell wall of candida.

They tested the vaccine in female mice. Those mice got one of several variations of the vaccine, followed by a booster shot two weeks later. And two weeks after their booster shot, they were exposed to a lethal dose of Candida albicans.

For comparison, other mice got a sham vaccine and booster shot before being exposed to Candida albicans.

Xin's team studied the mice for 120 days after exposure to Candida albicans. During that time, all of the mice in the comparison group died, typically surviving for 11 days or less.

Survival rates were better for the mice that had gotten the real vaccine, ranging from 40% to 100%, depending on which vaccine formulation was used.

Much more work lies ahead for the vaccine; these tests were just to see if it might work, not whether it's safe in the long run. In the journal, two of Xin's colleagues report that they are co-inventors on a patent related to the chemical process used to make the vaccine.

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