Smallpox jab proves effective in new trial

An experimental smallpox vaccine has demonstrated promising results in a new trial completed in Japan. And the researchers note that the new vaccine appears to work without the kind of adverse risks presented by first-generation vaccines.

The vaccine spurred antibody creation in ninety percent of the more than 3,000 members of Japan's military who were vaccinated in the trial. And nearly all the participants experienced the tell-tale swelling around the site of injection, a signal that the vaccine was working.

"We demonstrated the immunogenicity of LC16m8 vaccine in vaccine-naive adults by a single vaccination. LC16m8 vaccine also induces a good booster response in previously vaccinated individuals," researchers stated. "Our study also offers supportive evidence for the safety of LC16m8 vaccine in adults; LC16m8 vaccine appears to be a viable alternative to first-, second- and other third-generation vaccines in a smallpox preparedness program."

Smallpox was eliminated years ago, but researchers continue to search for a safer, more effective vaccine in the event bioterrorists trigger a human outbreak.

- read the report from the International Herald Tribune