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Fri, May 23

Duke Labs Pursuing Powdered Nasal Vaccine Against West Nile

Riding the expansion of mosquito-borne diseases from the tropics as  temperatures rise across the globe, the West Nile Virus made its American landfall in New York about 15 years ago. Since then, it has spread throughout the United States and Canada, killing more than 1,600 and sickening nearly 40,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There isn’t any human vaccine to control outbreaks of West Nile Virus or to stem its worldwide spread.

But Herman Staats, Ph.D., and Soman Abraham, Ph.D, both professors of pathology at Duke University, are trying to change that. They are combining their expertise in vaccine development and immune responses toward the goal of designing “needleless” vaccines — nasal sprays like the seasonal Flumist vaccine for influenza – that can protect the public against emerging infectious diseases like anthrax or West Nile Virus.

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