A Multi-Task investigation on the human immune response to anthrax aimed at developing more efficient vaccines


Project title: “A Multi-Task investigation  on the human immune response to anthrax aimed at developing more efficient vaccines”, NATO SFP 984208; Project duration:  13.02.2013 – 13.02.2016.

Project Summary

a).Project  Objective:The NATO Science for Peace and Security Program (SPS) in 2012 had funded the research program aimed to identify and study the potential antigen candidates for the new subunit vaccine against anthrax and thus contribute to the development of the improved and more effective vaccine. Within the scope of this project, Georgian researchers in collaboration with the British, Turkish and US scientists are leaded by Prof. Baillie of the School of Pharmacy at Cardiff University. Majority of research activities will be conducted In Georgia under the supervision of Dr. Nino Trapaidze at the R. Lugar Center for Public Health Research of The National Center for Disease, Control and Public Health.

b).Project activities:Archived human blood samples, collected from volunteers with anthrax diagnosis in Georgia and Turkey, will be utilized in this study. Antibodies, against individual domains of anthrax antigens (Protective Antigen (PA), Lethal Factor (LF) and Edema Factor (EF)) will be assessed and evaluated in these samples using the immunoassay. In addition, in order to elucidate yet unknown anthrax antigens, antibodies against individual spore proteins of anthrax vaccine strain will be assessed, using same human samples.  Further, immunogenic epitopes of the domains, able to trigger cell-mediated immune response several years after infection, will be elucidated by immune spot (ELISPOT) assay.

As a result, new antigens as well as immunogenic epitopes of known anthrax antigens will be revealed, as new potential candidates for the new generation subunit vaccine.

c).Expected results:

Immunogenic epitopes of PA, LF and EF will be revealed. New immunogenic spore proteins will be identified;
The outputs of this study are expected to contribute and underpin the development of more effective and safe vaccines capable of conferring stable long-lasting protection following minimal dosing.
Young Georgian scientists will adopt modern laboratory methods that will improve their qualification.  An additional benefit of this effort would be capacity building in order to facilitate the establishment of a center of immunological expertise capable of supporting infectious disease research across all countries in the region. .    The new capabilities for epidemiological and scientific  research will be established in Georgia and long lasting links will be formed between researchers in Georgia, Turkey, US and UK