Grafton, Mass. - Veterinarians at Tufts University discovered a new treatment for people suffering from E. coli poisoning.
GRAFTON, MASS. — Veterinarians at Tufts University discovered a new treatment for people suffering from E. coli poisoning.
The patent was awarded for veterinary researchers' discovery of an antibody-based treatment for Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, (HUS), which is caused by the forms of E. coli that produce Shiga toxins. Children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk for developing HUS, and the condition can cause kidney damage. Extreme cases can result in chronic, irreversible kidney dysfunction and damage to the central nervous system.
There is no cure for HUS, but Dr. Saul Tzipori, director of the Tufts' veterinary school's Division of Infectious Diseases, used human monoclonal antibodies that seek out, bind to and neutralize the Stx2 and Stx1 Shiga toxins, according to Tufts. Tzipori published a study in 2004 showing the effectiveness of the treatment using mice and pig models.
Tufts officials say that other attempts at the same treatment have been made in the past, but Tzipori's method has proved to be safer, longer-lasting and more effective than its predecessors.
The patent on the treatment was licensed to Lakewood-Amedex of Sarasota, Fla.