Fighting Food Poisoning

Vaccine for Food-Borne Illness Discovered

In the spirit of honor, courage, and commitment (to scientific discovery), U.S. Navy scientist Patricia Guerry has developed a vaccine that could protect against food-borne intestinal illness, a sickness that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide each year. The vaccine, which works against the pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, has shown great success in treating monkeys suffering from what is commonly known as food poisoning, leading the way for human trials soon. The vaccine inhibits bacteria’s ability to attach to the intestinal lining and would greatly reduce the symptoms—diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps—associated with food-borne illnesses. Every year, more than two million people in the United States and many hundreds worldwide become infected with food-borne illness. In developing countries, such a vaccine could save the lives of tens of thousands of children who die from infection each year. “In solving the problem for the military, she is also helping Third World nations, as Campylobacter is a leading cause of food-borne illness in children in underdeveloped countries,” said Capt. Christopher Daniel, the commanding officer of Guerry’s lab at the Naval Medical Research Center.