Research ArticleInfectious Disease

A live vaccine rapidly protects against cholera in an infant rabbit model

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Science Translational Medicine  13 Jun 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 445, eaap8423
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aap8423

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Designer bugs as drugs

The endemic persistence and outbreaks of Vibrio cholerae indicate a need for new methods of control; in this issue, two groups investigated the potential of engineered bacteria to mediate cholera resistance in animal models. Mao et al. discovered that lactic acid production by the probiotic Lactococcus lactis rendered the infant mouse gut hostile to V. cholerae and engineered L. lactis to detect breakthrough infection. Hubbard et al. extensively modified a contemporary V. cholerae strain for a live oral vaccine, which resulted in an attenuated strain that could protect infant rabbits from V. cholerae challenge within 24 hours of vaccine administration, indicating that the protective effects were not dependent on adaptive immunity. These papers showcase innovative approaches to tackling cholera.