Vaccine to Prevent Otitis Media and Infections in COPD
Moraxella catarrhalis antigen AfeA immunization of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive and irreversible lung disease characterized by chronic inflammation reduced air flow. It is associated with smoke inhalation (typically from cigarettes or cooking fires) and air pollution including dust or chemical fumes. COPD afflicts 65 million patients worldwide and is the fourth leading cause of death. The progression of COPD is marked by periods of stability punctuated with bouts of severe symptoms known as exacerbations. Exacerbations accelarate the decline in lung function and can lead to hospitalization, respiratory failure or death. Five to ten percent of exacerbations are caused by Moraxella catarrhalis. This leads to 2-4 million M. cat-induced exacerbations in the U.S. annually. In addition M. cat. Acts as a co-pathogen for nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), Streptococcus pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa allowing them to thrive in environments normally hostile to them. Dr. Murphy has been developing a group of antigens suitable for creating a vaccine to M. catarrhalis. The antigen candidate in this docket, AfeA, is highly conserved and expressed abundantly on the cell surface. It is also a virulence factor and plays a role in cellular growth.