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Oct 4, 2017 - Science and innovations
FEFU researchers have developed nanoparticles for new generation of vaccines

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Scientists of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) have developed nanoparticulate tubular immunostimulating complexes (TI-complexes) for the development of new generation anti-infectious vaccines. The complexes consist of biologically active compounds isolated from Cucumaria japonica and marine algae or seagrass. The obtained nanosized tubes (tubules) contain the antigen of the microbe, due to which they imitate microorganisms and effectively stimulate immunity. The results of the work have been published in the BioMed Research International scientific journal.

According to Nina Sanina, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology, FEFU School of Natural Sciences, TI-complexes are self-organized from a mixture of three components: cucumarioside A2-2 (CDA) from Cucumaria japonica, cholesterol, and monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) glycolipid from seagrass. The professor pointed out that TI-complexes are more effective than the strongest adjuvants (factors that stimulate the immune response), and are safer than traditional vaccines.

“Special properties of TI-complexes are manifested due to biologically active compounds from marine hydrobionts. So, MGDG glycolipid from seagrass comprises a high level of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which demonstrate immunomodulatory properties. Ultra-low doses of substances from cucumaria stimulate cellular and humoral immunity,” Nina Sanina said.

The research by FEFU scientists is aimed at preventing dangerous diseases that are especially common in the Far Eastern region (e.g. tick-borne encephalitis), and global infections such as influenza and others. At the first stage, they dealt with the protein antigen of the enteropathogenic Yersinia pseudotuberculosis—the causative agent of the Far Eastern scarlet-fever-like fever (pseudotuberculosis)—that is genetically very close to Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the plague.

The authors of the development are the researchers of the FEFU Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology: Professors Eduard Kostetsky and Nina Sanina, young scientists Andrey Mazeika, Natalia Chopenko, and Lyudmila Davydova. The research is supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation.

The researchers from the Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and the Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (Moscow), the University of Salamanca (Spain), and the University of Texas (USA) are also involved in the research.