Australian medical breakthrough!A new vaccine could save millions of lives around the world

2022-08-04 0 By

A medical miracle in Australia could save millions of babies with a new vaccine for newborns.Rotavirus, a virus that many people may not have heard of, kills at least 200,000 babies a year.Rotavirus causes severe diarrhea, especially in Africa and Asia, where children are not protected by existing vaccines.The virus was discovered by researchers at the Royal Children’s Hospital in 1973, leading to the development of a preliminary vaccine against rotavirus, which has since saved millions of babies’ lives!Now, Australian scientists have made a breakthrough based on the vaccine.Rotavirus vaccines have protected children around the world for nearly 40 years.Murdoch Children 'S Research Institute (MCRI) has found that the new generation of rotavirus vaccine not only protects infants at birth, but is also effective at reduced doses, making it easier for infants worldwide to get vaccinated and increasing supplies.This experiment has been done in Africa!The existing vaccine is only suitable for children older than six weeks, but the new Melbourne RV3-BB oral vaccine can be administered shortly after birth, making it more likely to reach the 80 million unvaccinated children under five worldwide.The vaccine was tested in Africa, where rotavirus has been hardest hit.Following the successful tracing of antibodies to RV3-BB in newborns in Malawi, Africa, MCRI professor Julie Bines said the new vaccine could be used at 25 percent lower doses than the old vaccine, lowering production costs in developing countries where it is urgently needed.Bines said: “The latest results showed that infants in Malawi, Africa, had a good immune response to the RB3-BB vaccine developed in Melbourne, suggesting that the vaccine had a strong protective effect on this population.As for the reduction of under-five mortality, there has been considerable progress, but neonatal mortality in the first four weeks of life remains high.”(Image: Herald Sun) A few years after rotavirus was first identified, the Royal Women 'Professor Ruth Bishop, Professor Graeme Barnes and their colleagues at the nursery of S Hospital have noticed a new strain of the virus that causes no symptoms in infected infants but seems to protect them against severe gastroenteritis.”This vaccine is very suitable for newborns,” Bines said. “It is very safe and does not cause infection or symptoms.”In a study published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, Prof Bines and Nigel Cunliffe from the University of Liverpool showed that three moderate doses of the vaccine given shortly after birth protected 94 per cent of babies from severe rotavirus diarrhoea within a year.A study of 711 Malawian infants confirmed the results of an earlier Indonesian trial.MCRI has developed the RV3-BB vaccine, which can be licensed to licensed manufacturers for mass production at a price of less than A $7 for three doses.The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported the research.Dr. Duncan Steele says the latest findings show great promise in reducing rotavirus infections in Africa and Asia.”The neonatal rotavirus vaccine, developed by Professor Ruth Bishop and Professor Graeme Barnes at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, has performed well in the African infant population, which is encouraging,” he said.Finally, this vaccine could be a blessing for babies all over the world, allowing more babies to be saved.Julie Bines won the Eureka Prize in 2021 for her work on the vaccine.It can be described as a double harvest of reputation and career!