Scientists use CRISPR to edit structural gene in organism that causes leishmaniasis — ScienceDaily

Scientists are planning for Phase 1 human trials of a vaccine they developed by using CRISPR gene-editing technology to mutate the parasite that causes leishmaniasis, a skin disease common in tropical regions of the world and gaining ground in the United States.

In a series of animal studies, the vaccine protected mice against the disease — including mice with compromised immune systems and mice exposed to the parasite in the same way humans are, through the bite of infected sand flies.

“If you assure protection in the sand fly model, then you have a good shot at a real vaccine,” said Abhay Satoskar, a co-lead investigator of the work and professor of pathology and microbiology at The Ohio State University.

The team applied the new technology to the century-old Middle Eastern practice of leishmanization — deliberately introducing the live parasite to the skin to create a small infection that, once

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