A new oral vaccine has been developed that uses probiotic bacteria as the delivery system, raising hopes of safer, more effective vaccinations, without the painful needle factor.
Researchers led by Mansour Mohamadzadeh, associate professor of medicine in gastroenterology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has successfully created immunity to anthrax using a probiotic delivered vaccine in a preclinical study. He is also working on vaccines for a number of other infectious diseases, as well as breast cancer, using the same approach.
Aside from eliminating the need for a needle, the use of probiotics in delivering vaccines offers the promise of harnessing the full power of the body's immune system, much of which is located in the lymphatic tissues of the gut. The gut is the major route for pathogens to gain access to the body. The immune defences which prevent this from happening are not stimulated by traditional injected vaccines which bypass the gut.