Development of a sub-unit vaccine to protect swine against the infections caused by Streptococcus suis

Streptococcus suis is one of the most important causes of bacterial disease in post-weaned piglets. Affected animals suffer from meningitis (affected brain), endocarditis (affected heart), arthritis (affected joints) and septicemia (general infection). There are 35 serotypes of S. suis (same bacteria but different antigens). Some of these serotypes (such as serotype 2) can also affect humans (transmission from pigs), causing serious disease. Usually, veterinarians use antibiotics to treat and even protect animals. However, the large use of antibiotic induces the increase of antibiotic-resistance and there are now many S. suis bacterial strains that are resistant. Unfortunately, there are no effective vaccines in the market to protect against this infection. We have identified a protein called "Sao" that protects pigs against a bacterial strain of S. suis serotype 2. It is not known if it protects against other strains and other serotypes that cause disease in pigs. Production of Sao protein should also be improved to obtain acceptable yields to have enough material to be tested in a large vaccine trial. In addition, this protein should be mixed with a very good adjuvant that increases or aids the immune response of animals and used in pigs.

Paul Lemire
Superviseur universitaire: 
Marcelo Gottschalk
Project Year: