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The Nanoparticle’s New Clothes

Caged Toxin Makes for a Better Vaccine

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Vaccinations with and against toxins face a conundrum: if they are too good, they can sicken their recipients. Now, scientists have developed a nanoparticle to cage a certain class of toxins, allowing them to present those toxins to the immune system without first modifying them through chemical or heat treatment – a process that makes vaccines less toxic, but also less effective. Mice vaccinated with a nanovaccine against the Staphylococcus aureus toxin hemolysin A were better protected from hemolysin than animals who received heat-treated hemolysin.

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