Mapping the way to a Candida vaccine

While a dose of thrush in a healthy person is not much more than an irritation, Candida infections cause 70,000 bloodstream infections in hospital patients every year in North America, with a death rate of around 40%. The infection is particularly serious in people with damaged immune systems, and a vaccine could save many lives, as well as cutting the burden on the healthcare system. Researchers at the Alberta Glycomics Centre, University of Alberta, have developed a technique to map the structure of Candida albicans, using nuclear magnetic resonance. The detailed information from this technique allowed the team to create prototype vaccines that matched the shape of the fungus and showed early positive results, but these are still likely to be 10 years off the market. The research was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Press release | Abstract

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