University of Plymouth researchers have received over £700,000 to combat an emerging antibiotic-resistant disease able to jump from pigs to humans with potentially fatal effect.
The Vaccine Group (TVG), a university spinout company founded by Dr Michael Jarvis, will use the grant from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to develop a vaccine to prevent the spread of Streptococcus suis (“S.suis”) – which can cause infections of the brain lining, meningitis, blood poisoning, or septicaemia, as well as many other serious diseases in humans.
As part of the consortium, Professor Mat Upton, Associate Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences, will identify targets for the new vaccines being developed by TVG.
Incidents of S.suis have been rising globally and in Asia it is now classified as an emerging threat. S.suis is currently treated with antibiotics, but there is growing evidence that it is becoming resistant to them. Effective vaccines remove the need to use antibiotics in animals.
Administered by Innovate UK, the project will develop TVG’s novel herpesvirus-based platform technology to create a single-use vaccine for use in pigs.