A Vaccine to Prevent Infection by Nontypeable Haemophilus Influenzae infection
A vaccine to non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) based on OMP P2 with demonstrated effectiveness against greater than half of all tested NTHi strains.
Currently, there is no effective vaccine to prevent infection by non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), a leading cause of otitis media as well as a number of other upper respiratory tract infections that affect both pediatric and adult populations. The most common treatment for OM is antibiotic therapy. In the U.S. alone, nearly 30 million antibiotic prescriptions are written for this condition each year. The widespread use of antibiotics has contributed to the fact that more than half of all strains of NTHi are now resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics. Physicians affiliated with the University at Buffalo have developed a novel method to overcome the obstacle of NTHi’s OMP P2 cross-strain variability. From this method, they have derived a vaccine, which in its current formulation, has demonstrated effectiveness against greater than half of all tested NTHi strains. The main advantage of this technology is that it breaches strain specificity issues, which is considered the main impediment to the development of an effective NTHI vaccine. In addition, the technology utilizes the most abundant protein on the surface of the organism, and therefore immune responses should be robust and effective. The economic impact of an effective vaccine against NTHi would be staggering: the total direct and indirect costs for the management of otitis media alone are estimated to be between $3 and $5 billion per year.