Scientists at N.C. State University have recently discovered that a bacteria typically found in yogurt could be a more successful way for administering the anthrax vaccine than injections.
In a study that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a NCSU team and others announced that connecting anthrax vaccine to the common L.acidophilus bacteria creates an unusual ability to deliver a drug payload to the immune system in the intestines.
Since modified bacteria is unaffected by stomach acids, it can safely carry the vaccine past the stomach and into the small intestine for it to be absorbed.
This innovative delivery system could possibly put an end to the anthrax vaccine’s habit of causing tenderness, pain and swelling at the area where the shot is given. A short time ago, the shot was administered repeatedly under the skin. This is an especially painful way to give a shot. Tests done recently revealed that it could be administered into muscle tissue, but this proved to be painful as well, after a study was performed last year from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Anthrax is a disease that is spreadable among wild animals. The scary part is that it can be transfered to people. Because it has the capability to be used in biological warfare, military personnel are required to receive inoculations.
The shot is believed to be associated with Gulf War Syndrome, which is a group of conditions such as chronic fatigue and memory problems that were initially reported by veterans of the Gulf War of 1991.
Dr. Meryl Nass, who is an activist against the anthrax vaccine, said that the new technique could slash some of the toxicity that the injectable drug has, perhaps due to extra contents that are added to prolong its freshness. The new procedure could also be extended to vaccines for diseases that are in under-developed countries, where it is burdensome to store and deliver drug injections.