A Vaccine to Fight MRSA?

December 12, 2014

In an experimental model, the investigational NDV-3 vaccine appears to mobilize the immune system to fight methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infections, a recent study indicates.

In an experimental model, the investigational NDV-3 vaccine appears to mobilize the immune system to fight methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infections, a recent study indicates.

NDV-3, which employs the recombinant protein Als3, enhances the skin’s molecular and cellular immune defenses in response to MRSA and other S. aureus bacteria, according to research published online December 8, 2014, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

Infectious disease specialists at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center studied a MRSA-caused disease model and discovered the NDV-3 vaccine reduces the infection’s severity and progression, as well as prevents further invasion of the super bug into deeper tissues.

These findings, the researchers say, support human studies looking at the vaccine’s effect on S. aureus.

"This is the first published study to demonstrate the effectiveness of a cross-kingdom recombinant vaccine against MRSA skin infections," Michael R. Yeaman, PhD, the study’s lead author says in a press release.

NDV-3 is the first vaccine to demonstrate it can be effective in protecting against infections caused by both S. aureus and the fungus Candida albicans, according to Dr. Yeaman.

"Skin infections due to Staphylococcus aureus and … MRSA are common and frequently necessitate antibiotic prescription. If the current results from NDV-3 translate to humans, they may have special relevance for dermatologists, who often treat the skin infections caused by MRSA.  Vaccines that guard against such infections enhance antibiotic effectiveness or minimize the need for antibiotics at all would not only benefit dermatology patients - but in turn may reduce the selection of antibiotic-resistant strains in the healthcare and community settings more broadly," Dr. Yeaman writes in an email to Dermatology Times.

NDV-3 has been licensed to NovaDigm Therapeutics, Inc.

Yeaman MR, Filler SG, Chaili S, et al. Mechanisms of NDV-3 vaccine efficacy in MRSA skin versus invasive infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2014;:201415610.