Elisabeth Manville
Jun 18, 2012

New technique to clear harmful pathogens from the immune system

Researchers from Tufts University have developed a novel approach to clearing toxins from the body. By using chains of binding agents to target pathogenic molecules, the activity of the molecules is neutralized, promoting their clearance from the body’s immune system. Earlier this year, findings were presented that this technique worked in preventing the symptoms of botulism, could be applied to other types of pathogens. “Currently, antitoxins are difficult to produce and have a short shelf life, making them very expensive. This new approach provides a low-cost way to develop highly effective antitoxins,” senior author Charles B. Shoemaker, PhD, professor of biomedical sciences at Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, said.The binding agents used in the new study are small, stable proteins derived genetically from unusual antibodies produced by toxin-immune alpacas.
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