Massachusetts-led group seeks to develop Q fever vaccine

Academic and corporate teams will be joining researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital's Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC) in the research and development of a Q fever vaccine, they announced on Thursday.

According to the announcement, Q fever is a priority in the field of biological defense as it has infected U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. With this, the virus has also been the basis of Soviet-era biological weapons and the Saddam Hussein regime is suspected of attempting to develop weapons based on the virus as well.

The vaccine candidate's development will be through the VaxCelerate program that allows the process of development and clinical tests to be completed in an expedited manner using multiple universities and pharmaceutical companies' different technologies. Colorado State University, Yale University, EpiVax Corp. and InnatOss of the Netherlands are also involved with this project.

"The quickening pace at which new infectious diseases appear in humans, and their potential for rapid transmission across the globe, require a new way of developing vaccines for these threats," Mark Poznansky, director of the VIC and principal investigator of the project, said. "We believe that the latest scientific concepts and technical advances from both academia and industry can be integrated in a new way to more rapidly develop and deploy new vaccines."

Symptoms associated with Q fever include high fevers, nausea, abdominal and chest pain, and vomiting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that while many with the disease do recover, it is possible for complications to arise including pneumonia and infections of the heart and liver.

Organizations in this Story

EpiVax, Inc. InnatOss Massachusetts General Hospital

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