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A stroke vaccine

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A stroke vaccine

Professor Michael Good, Griffith University

2017 Stroke Prevention Grant

Years funded: 2019-2023

Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) affects 30 million people worldwide and is responsible for the loss of over 350,000 lives per year with over 100,000 of these lives lost due to RHD-related stroke. These are both embolic and haemorrhagic strokes. Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations suffer the highest rates of RHD in the world with 3.2% in those aged 35-44 years suffering from the disease. RHD only ever follows an infection with group A treptococcus (GAS) and as such a vaccine to prevent streptococcal infection will prevent RHD–related strokes. We have developed two candidate vaccines to prevent streptococcal infection – one to prevent skin infection (impetigo and cellulitis) and the other to prevent tonsillitis. Infection in both sites can lead to RHD and stroke. The vaccines cover all strains of GAS. The skin vaccine (IMVax) has already been given to human volunteers in a pilot single dose study and shown to be safe and immunogenic. The tonsillitis vaccine (MUCOVax) has not yet been administered to human volunteers. Both vaccines are highly efficacious in pre-clinical models. Funding from this grant will enable us to produce and test these vaccines in human volunteers and to then test the efficacy of the vaccines using an NHMRC-funded facility where we can experimentally infect healthy adult volunteers with streptococcus. If successful, these vaccines have the potential to dramatically reduce the incidence of RHD-related strokes.

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Last updated12 July 2021