Once you've been exposed to the pathogen, you generate a memory, and the next time you see it, the body fights it better and you don't get sick," Daniel Rivera, the laboratory director at EpiVax and a molecular biologist, told the Gazette yesterday in a telephone interview.
The blood sample needed is small, just eight to 10 tablespoons, said Mr. Rivera
.Participants will be paid $100.
said the blood from Islanders who have had tularemia is a key component to developing a vaccine.Scientists at EpiVax
, working in concert with biologists at Brown University
and Rhode Island Hospital
, will extract T-cells from the blood and use them to develop the building blocks for a vaccine.
"We expose them to these little synthetic peptides, and if they've seen tularemia before, they give a response, the cells will get turned on and secrete a protein immune response," said Mr. Rivera
That's phase one.If successful, phase two involves testing the vaccine on mice at the University of Massachusetts Medical School
in Worcester.Mice would be vaccinated and then infected with tularemia.They would also be infected first and then treated with the vaccine to see if it was therapeutic after exposure to the bacteria, Mr. Rivera