CARB-X to fund vaccines for group A Streptococcus, Salmonella enterica
CARB-X announced today that it is awarding more than $10 million to GSK to develop vaccines to prevent serious infections caused by common bacterial pathogens that pose a significant health threat in the developing world.
Under the award from CARB-X (the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator), GSK Biologicals and the GSK Vaccines Institute for Global Health (GVGH) will receive $8.2 million for a vaccine targeting group A Streptococcus and $2.2 million for a vaccine targeting Salmonella enterica infections. If both projects meet certain milestones, they could be eligible for an additional $8.2 million.
Group A Streptococcus causes strep throat, which affects an estimated 600 million people a year globally, but it can also cause more serious infections, like acute rheumatic fever, and pose more of a health threat in immunocompromised people. Salmonella enterica causes invasive nontyphoidal salmonellosis (iNTS) and typhoid fever, both of which are significant causes of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa and low- and middle-income countries in other parts of the world.
The aim of the group A Streptococcus vaccine is to reduce the incidence and severity of strep A infections and autoimmune sequelae. The Salmonella enterica vaccine, which combines a recently licensed Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine with key antigens from other Salmonella strains that cause iNTS, aims to prevent deaths and contribute to reduced antibiotic consumption.
“As part of GSK’s overall Global Health approach, GVGH is dedicated to working with partners to develop effective and affordable vaccines that protect vulnerable communities against some of the most prevalent diseases causing high morbidity and mortality in developing countries,” GVGH Director Francesco Berlanda Scorza said in a CARB-X press release. “Thanks to CARB-X support, we have the opportunity to study and advance innovative vaccines against Salmonellosis and Group A Streptococcus, and contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance.”
Since its launch in 2016, CARB-X has awarded nearly $300 million for early-stage development of new antibiotic, vaccines, diagnostics, and other products that target drug-resistant bacteria.
Mar 1 CARB-X press release
VA study finds varying susceptibility in pneumonia-causing bacteria
A nationwide cumulative antibiogram for common bacterial isolates obtained from sputum samples shows some notable trends in susceptibility and resistance among pathogens that cause pneumonia, researchers in New York reported today in the American Journal of Infection Control.
To create the antibiogram, researchers from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Western New York Healthcare System obtained sputum culture data from patients treated at VA hospitals nationwide from 2009 to 2019. They calculated susceptibility percentages by dividing the total number of susceptible isolates of a particular bacterial species by the total number of reported isolates of that same bacterial species. Sputum and bronchial cultures from an average 10,345 VA patients per year were analyzed.
The results showed that the susceptibility of Streptococcus pneumoniae to third-generation cephalosporins rose from 92.2% to 95% over the study period, but azithromycin susceptibility fell from 56.8% in 2009 to 51.7% in 2018, and reduced susceptibility to erythromycin (59% to 46.2) and tetracycline (76.2% to 72.3%) was also observed.
Haemophilus influenzae maintained high levels of susceptibility to third-generation cephalosporins (99.7% to 97.2%), while third-generation susceptibility among Klebsiella pneumoniae trended upward (79.1% to 86.4%). Fluoroquinolone susceptibility among Escherichia coli remained low but stable (58% for ciprofloxacin and 57% for levofloxacin).
The authors say the findings suggest that, among VA patients, avoidance of macrolides (azithromycin and clarithromycin) for empiric treatment of community-associated pneumonia and avoidance of fluoroquinolones for empiric treatment of hospital-acquired or ventilator-associated pneumonia may be warranted based on the observed trends.
“Information obtained from this study can be used to help guide and improve empiric prescribing of antibiotics, which may in turn help reduce the development of antimicrobial resistance and lead to faster appropriate treatment of patients,” they write.
Mar 1 Am J Infect Control abstract