Grass Allergy Vaccine Could Prevent and Treat Hepatitis B
Accidental science is the best. For every "oops" that ends up in an explosion, there are several amazing discoveries we didn't mean to make. That's how we got the microwave, velcro, and Sweet-n-Low - and it may be the way we knock out Hepatitis B!
Hep B is a virus that, once inside the human body, causes severe liver problems. For some, this infection can last a few weeks - but for others, it can become a chronic condition. According to Medical Xpress, the chronic form of this disease can only be treated by chemotherapy.
Now, there may be another option on the horizon that saves the patient from the destructive methods of chemo - and it was discovered by happy accident. More specifically, it was discovered by a team of researchers at MedUni Vienna's Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology who were working on a vaccine for grass allergies.
The experimental vaccine contains a protein that biologists say blocks the virus from bonding with liver cells. It basically plugs all of the holes Hepatitis B uses to inject it its RNA into a cell. That means little to no replication (in theory), and consequently - no infection!
This research is in its early stages, but is very promising. Experts agree that the effect is so powerful, it can be used to treat patients who already have the infection and possibly a more effective vaccine against the virus. The existing vaccine fails 10-20% of the time.