Researchers in Galveston use rodents for anti-plague tests

By  | 

GALVESTON, Tex. (AP) - Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch are reporting progress on a project to develop vaccines targeting the plague.

The Houston Chronicle reports the scientists in Galveston are concerned about potential use of plague by terrorists and with the increasing number of global cases.

Researchers say they're working on three vaccine candidates meant to effectively protect against the infection that causes the plague. The researchers experimented with rodents.

Professor Ashok Chopra says if the research is borne out, such vaccines could help negate future epidemics and pandemics. Chopra's team recently reported on fighting pneumonic plague - the most virulent type that spreads through airborne transmission. The next step will be testing with nonhuman primates, like monkeys.

Details were in an online paper last month in the journal NPJ Vaccines.