The first ever vaccine for gut bacteria, common in autistic children, was designed by researchers from the University of Guelph. The ground-breaking study was conducted by Brittany Pequegnat and Guelph chemistry professor Mario Monteiro.
The new carbohydrate vaccine fights against bacteria present in the gut known as Clostridium bolteae, which plays a major role in gastrointestinal disorders. The number of C.bolteae is more in the gastrointestinal tracts of autistic kids when compared to those of healthy children.
Reports according to current literature state that more than 90 percent of kids with autism spectrum disorder suffer with severe chronic gastrointestinal symptoms. Out of this, 75 percent suffer from diarrhea.
“Little is known about the factors that predispose autistic children to C. bolteae,” said Monteiro. “Although most infections are handled by some antibiotics, a vaccine would improve current treatment. This is the first vaccine designed to control constipation and diarrhea caused by C. bolteae and perhaps control autism-related symptoms associated with this microbe.”
It was believed by many researchers that the toxins produced by gut bacteria, including C.boltea, are linked with symptoms and severity of autism, especially regressive autism.
To test this, the researchers worked on a bacteria grown in the lab. They noticed that the vaccine attacks particular complex polysaccharides or carbohydrates that are present on the surface of the bug. When tested on rabbits, the vaccine increased the C.bolteae antibodies.
According to Monteiro, it might take more than 10 years for the vaccine to work through preclinical and human trials, and even longer before a drug is ready to hit the market.
Source: Science World Report