At a meeting of the American Chemical Society, it was reported that tests of an inhaled anthrax vaccine have proven successful in initial animal trials.
The vaccine is a joint project between the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and BD Technologies. The military currently uses an anthrax vaccine that requires six injections over an 18 month period, and is seeking a vaccine that could be given faster and easier to soldiers as well as civilians in the event of an anthrax attack.
According to lead researcher Vince Sullivan reported that in laboratory tests, rabbits given the vaccine and then exposed to a lethal dose of anthrax had survival rates between 83 and 100 percent. The vaccine also appears to be more stable than the liquid injectable version, and appears to be able to withstand temperature extremes better, suggesting it would be easier to stockpile the vaccine.
The inhaled vaccine, however, still has at least several more years of animal testing to go through before any clinical trials could begin.
Inhaled anthrax vaccine tested in animals. CIDRAP News, September 1, 2004.
Inhaled anthrax vaccine protects in animals – report. Reuters Health, August 24, 2004.