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OMVAC — Result In Brief

Project ID: 37653
Country: Austria

A new vaccine for childhood earache

The pain of a middle ear infection can be very distressing for a child and can lead to a range of undesirable conditions including deafness and tinnitus. European researchers have identified antigens that are candidates for vaccines against otitis media.
A new vaccine for childhood earache
Otitis media is a very common secondary infection after a cold or flu. The main bacteria responsible currently are Moraxella catarrhalis (M. catarrhalis) and Haemophilus influenza (H. influenza). Introduction of pneumococcal vaccines to prevent secondary infection after Streptococcus pneumoniae, also a bacterial culprit, appear to have increased the impact of the other two species.

as a result of the pain and discomfort, antibiotics are frequently prescribed. Often ineffective due to antibiotic resistance, the EU-funded project OMVAC aimed to replace the need for antibiotics with an alternative and effective therapy.

project researchers aimed to identify protein antigens for the development of a prophylactic vaccine. This would have the advantage of not only being preventive but avoid the high costs associated with treatment of chronic conditions that can develop later like hearing loss and conjunctivitis.

using non-typable H. influenza (NTHi) and M. catarrhalis (Mcat), protein antigens were generated for testing in pre-clinical animal models. OMVAC researchers validated the antigens with serological, genetic, genomic and bioinformatic procedures.

OMVAC successfully identified new antigens with patenting potential. Future research will continue to generate the pre-clinical efficacy and safety data necessary for their use in prophylactic vaccines.

paediatric medicine stands to benefit from the success of the OMVAC project. A sustainable vaccine for otitis media would mean a welcome reduction in antibiotic use as well as serious complications for the patient later.

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