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Date posted: 26 February 2013
The Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) has begun human trials of a vaccine for Streptococcus A, the germ that causes rheumatic fever.
The vaccine has been developed over more than 20 years by Professor Michael Good from Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics and scientists at QIMR.
The head of QIMR's infectious diseases program, Professor James McCarthy, will lead the year-long trial of 20 healthy adults in Brisbane, at the co-owned and co-located clinical trial facility, Q-Pharm.
Repeated attacks of rheumatic fever can cause a build-up of damage to the heart valves, known as rheumatic heart disease. It's largely a disease of poverty, and a major issue in northern Australia's remote Indigenous communities.
'Infection rates in remote Indigenous communities in Queensland are among the highest in the world. Nine out of every ten people affected in Queensland are Indigenous,' Professor Good said.
The research was funded by the National Heart Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Co-operative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology, the Perpetual Foundation and the Prince Charles Hospital Foundation.
Source: Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR)