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Researchers at the Universities of Dundee and Oxford have shown how combining the tetanus vaccine with a viral particle that normally affects cucumbers can be used to treat psoriasis and allergies, and may even protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock 

Scientists led by Dundee’s Dr John Foerster and Oxford’s Professor Martin Bachmann, were able to take the protein coat of cucumber mosaic virus and incorporate a tetanus vaccine-derived protein structure known to stimulate the immune system in order to create vaccines to treat multiple chronic diseases.

The vaccine showed positive results in models of psoriasis and cat allergy and was shown to raise antibody levels thought to be beneficial in Alzheimer’s disease. These vaccines can be preventative - which is the hope for Alzheimer’s - but also therapeutic, meaning they can cure a disease like psoriasis after it has already been established.

More research is required to test the efficacy of the therapeutic in a clinical setting, but the Dundee-Oxford study raises the possibility of hundreds of thousands of people being spared the ravages of chronic diseases.

Read more (University of Oxford website)

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