Otitis media (OM) is one of the most frequent diseases in childhood and the most common indication for the prescription of antibiotics. Recurrent OM affects up to 40% of children and may persist for weeks to months causing symptoms ranging from hearing loss and tinnitus to anorexia or conjunctivitis.
The main causative agents of OM are the bacterial pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae, Moraxella catarrhalis and Haemophilus influenzae. Acute otitis media (AOM) is characterised by the presence of middle ear effusion accompanied by the rapid onset of signs of inflammation such as otalgia, otorrhea or fever. As AOM is very painful, it results very often in antibiotic treatment. Yet solid evidence is lacking that it alters the course of OM disease in children. A prophylactic vaccine would be able to reduce the misery of children by preventing the occurrence of OM altogether. The advances in genomic research have enabled a comprehensive search for antigens and vaccine candidates. Intercell has successfully applied the novel antigenome technology to identify protective antigens from S. pneumoniae. Together with complementary proteomic approaches we now aim to identify novel vaccine candidates for the two pathogens M. catarrhalis and H. influenzae, which can function as targets for protective immunity preventing OM.
This study aims to select candidate antigens for evaluation in clinical trials for the prevention of OM. The consortium partners maintain the highest quality of research and technology in their respective field, among them proven and renowned experts of OM research, proteomic and MS techniques and of vaccine development. This work will generate valuable intellectual property, but it will further broaden the expertise of all partners and the understanding of the underlying mechanisms of OM disease.
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