New Lyme Vaccine Development from Tulane

Lyme Disease Vaccine candidate VLA15Tulane News, (Tate, L.) published “Tulane researchers to develop new Lyme vaccine with lasting protection” on September 28, 2022. Tulane University researchers received National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding in the amount of $1.3 million to test the technology already used as an efficacious Lyme vaccine in canines. Researchers plan to modify this vaccine technology with nano-particles that boost the immune system to determine if safe, long-term, protection can also be achieved in humans.

The team at Tulane will modify the vaccine invented by Richard Marconi, PhD, by combining different immune boosting additives with the vaccine with the intent to identify which of these additives provides the most profound response and long-term protection.

One of these substances (T-vant) developed by Tulane immunologists Lisa Morici, PhD, and James McLachlan, PhD is composed of “nanoparticles” of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), from Lyme bacteria. OMVs released by live bacteria during a naturally acquired infection are recognized by the human body and can trick the human immune system into mounting a response when this additive is included in vaccines. 

These two researchers plan to collaborate with Tulane’s associate professor of microbiology and immunology, Monica Embers, PhD, to test vaccine combinations. Embers has been a leader of Lyme research using the non-human primate model of Lyme disease, a model only available at the Tulane National Primate Research Center. 

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