Public Release:  Medical College of Wisconsin researchers

Develop broad spectrum defense against germ warfare: Biodefense leaps ahead of one vaccine for one germ approach

Medical College of Wisconsin

Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee in collaboration with a national team have developed a biodefense cocktail which activates the immune system against a broad range of viruses and bacteria. The new treatment boosts the body's response against common characteristics of germs. It is expected to be deployed to our troops within the next five years. Using a nasal spray, the cocktail of drugs will trigger immune activation in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, the most likely routes of attack.

The study is published in the current issue of Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (Volume 116, Issue 6, Pgs. 1334-1342-December 2005). Catherine Amlie-Lefond, M.D, assistant professor of neurology, is the first author, and Harry T. Whelan, M.D., professor of neurology, is the senior author.

According to Dr. Whelan, "This will revolutionize our defense against germ warfare, as well as the treatment of infectious diseases in our population, as a whole. It is possible to include agents which inhibit molecular events leading to septic shock, as well. This new technology confers broad spectrum, short term, immunity against unknown biothreat agents for war fighters sent into harm's way."

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Dr Whelan who is a captain in the Navy is Research Advisor, Future Plans & Strategy, to Deputy Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, REDCOM MW Medical Staff Diving Medical Officer, and holds the Bleser Endowed Professorship through the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation.

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