Predator bacteria and a breakthrough malaria vaccine
Bdellovibrio are the first predator bacteria, discovered in 1962. These and other predatory bacteria destroy amoebae and viruses, and scientists hope that they can also be used as antibiotics to treat humans and animals. The results of laboratory animal tests to date are safe and effective. Meanwhile, researchers at the Universidad de Chile have recently found two bacteria with high antibiotic potential – pathogen inhibitors: Pseudomonas koreinsis I1 and Desemzia inserta I2. The searching took place in the ecological niches of Chile’s Mapocho River.
Oxford University researchers have developed a malaria vaccine giving up to 80% protection against the disease (three initial doses followed by a booster dose a year later). The vaccine, called R21, is low-cost and is expected to be launched in 2023 – an agreement has already been signed with Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, to produce more than 100 million doses per year. Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases: it kills more than 400,000 people a year.
Arua Hospital in Uganda is one of 31 facilities participating in the Sonia Nabeta Foundation’s (SNF) programme to help patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). The Foundation uses a network of motorbike or bicycle taxis (boda-boda) to deliver insulin and other supplies to patients in the most remote areas of Uganda. Some of the children there sometimes travel as much as 5.5 hours round trip on foot to receive care at a health facility.