DiSarM: development of a subunit vaccine against melioidosis

Year of award: 2018


  • Dr Siobhán McClean

    University College Dublin

Project summary

Melioidosis is a potentially fatal tropical disease with a global incidence of 165,000 cases and 89,000 deaths per year. Although mostly associated with South-east Asia and northern Australia, it is transmitted in many subtropical and tropical regions. It is highly resistant to antibiotics and there are no approved vaccines, with people with diabetes being particularly at risk.

The DiSarM project has identified a vaccine that protects two different mouse models from lethal melioidosis infection. We will further develop this vaccine, test its safety and effectiveness and examine the mechanisms by which it provides protection. We will scale-up the production process, examine the vaccine’s stability and crucially test its effectiveness in a diabetic mouse model – the aim being to have a vaccine that is ready to progress to human trials.

We aim to develop a safe, effective vaccine to protect people in tropical countries from this lethal infection.