Edible vaccines readily applicable: Robin Warren

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Exclusive Interview The 2005 Nobel says the H.pylori bacteria could be used as a vehicle for immunization against common diseases.

rare corkscrew-shaped bacterium that colonizes the stomach or duodenum, the Helicobacter pylori, present in 50% of the world’s population- was the key to the Australian pathologist Robin Warren obtained, along with Barry J. Marshall, the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology in 2005.

Microbe that had been characterized for over a hundred years, but the doctors did not give importance .Until Warren demonstrated that caused disorders such as peptic ulcer and gastritis (formerly attributed to stress and environmental factors) the focus of the study changed completely.

Thanks to the work of the doctor and his young disciple Marshall, peptic ulcer disease is no longer a chronic disabling because they demonstrated that can be cured by completely eliminating the bacteria H. pylori by administration of antibiotic drugs.

Warren participated yesterday in the Week of Science and Innovation 2012 organized by the Institute of Science and Technology of DF with helicobacter Discovering keynote.At the end of it granted an exclusive interview with El Universal, in which he spoke about the most recent studies with this bacterium and its possible use in making edible vaccines.

* Why H. pylori is more common in underdeveloped countries?

I really do not know. It seems that in countries with poor sanitary conditions where public health is not well developed may be related, but this is just a theory.

* This bacterium is present in other animal species?

We have observed when sampling in hospitals in at least twelve animals. Cats become infected with a variety very similar to humans, sheep and cows are another variety similar to ours that probably helps them digest food.Apparently it is useful in them, but not in humans.

* Was this bacteria could become, thanks to advances in biotechnology and synthetic biology?

* My colleague Barry Marshall tries to isolate very harmful varieties of H. pylori to produce a single form of vaccination. The bacteria, which is genetically modified, are added other common disease-causing microbes as pertussis, so that children could ingest. Growing up in their stomachs for a few months would have immunity to the problems.

* These vaccines could be a low cost alternative?

* If successful trials will result would be very easy to use, particularly in developing countries: the children could take drinks containing the bacteria and thus cover large populations without the need for injections.

* Do we need more legal restrictions on the use of antibiotics in the world, and the problems associated with its use?

* Surely. We need to look at this carefully. The bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. That means that infections by bacteria and can not be, because people abused. This is found particularly in rural communities. This difficulty is higher each time.

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