Domain of a Protein Antigen From Coccidioides Immitis Which Induces Protection Against Coccidoidal Infection

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Researchers
John Galgiani
Director, Valley Fever Center for Excellence
Kris Orsborn
Research Specialist, Senior, Valley Fever Center for Excellence
Tao Peng
Research Specialist, Senior, Valley Fever Center for Excellence
Lisa Shubitz
Associate Research Professor, Veterinary Science & Microbiology
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Tod McCauley
Sr. Licensing Manager (520) 626-7916
  Title: Domain of a Coccidioides immitis Protein Antigen which Induces Protection Against Coccidioidal Infection
Background: Coccidioidomycosis ensues after infection with the fungus Coccidioides immitis (“Valley Fever”). The body is usually able to resolve the infection without treatment within a few weeks to a few months, and the individual’s immune system is almost completely resistant to a second infection. However, some cases are unable to resolve the infection and must succumb to extensive and sometimes lifelong antifungal treatment. A vaccine to C. immitis has been tested but resulted in excessive pain and inflammation at the injection site making the method unacceptable. Development of a more potent vaccination against C. immitis infection would enable researchers to create a low dose vaccine in turn alleviating problems with pain and inflammation.
Applications: *Development of a potent targeted vaccine to C. immitis
Advantages: *Identification of a protein antigen domain of C. immitis that confers resistance reducing the amount of vaccine required in turn decreasing the negative side effects associated with vaccination
The Technology: Researchers at the University of Arizona have determined the precise conformation required to confer resistance to C. immitis or Valley Fever, which is endemic to Southwestern United States, Mexico and other Latin American countries. They have identified a subunit of C. immitis antigen that would both prevent coccidioidomycosis and optimize the vaccine dose in turn reducing any negative side effects from vaccination. Injecting an individual with an antigenic subunit eliminates the presence of unneeded genetic sequences from the vaccine. This reduces the risks associated with the more common whole-cell vaccine injection.