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Modified bacteria could be used in vaccines

A modified strain of Salmonella could be used to efficiently deliver antigens, the key ingredients of vaccines, into human cells, a study suggests.

Salmonella bacteria use nanoscopic needles to inject their own proteins into host cells, enabling them to survive and replicate inside those cells. In the latest study, published in mBio, scientists harnessed this mechanism to deliver vaccine-like particles into immune cells using modified bacteria that are unable to replicate and cause infection.

“As our understanding of how bacteria grow in host cells has improved, it has enabled us to think about how we can manipulate them,” said Dr Rita Figueira, who carried out the study in Professor David Holden’s laboratory at the MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection at Imperial College London.

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