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Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, in collaboration with a national team, have developed a biodefense cocktail which activates the immune system against a broad range of viruses and bacteria. The new treatment boosts the bodys response against common characteristics of germs. It is expected to be deployed to U.S. troops within the next five years. Using a nasal spray, the cocktail of drugs will trigger immune activation in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, the most likely routes of attack.
The study was published in the December 2005 issue of Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. Catherine Amlie-Lefond, MD, assistant professor of neurology, is the first author, and Harry T. Whelan, MD, professor of neurology, is the senior author.
According to Whelan, This will revolutionize our defense against germ warfare, as well as the treatment of infectious diseases in our population, as a whole. It is possible to include agents which inhibit molecular events leading to septic shock, as well. This new technology confers broad spectrum, short term, immunity against unknown biothreat agents for war fighters sent into harm's way.
Whelan, who is a captain in the Navy, holds the Bleser Endowed Professorship through the Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation.
Source: Medical College of Wisconsin