Researchers develop world's first Toxic Shock Syndrome vaccine

Researchers in Vienna claim to have developed the world’s first vaccine for Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a dangerous, sometimes fatal illness caused by bacterial toxins. Published recently in the journal “The Lancet Infectious Diseases,” researchers at MedUni Vienna’s Department of Clinical Pharmacology along with the company Biomedizinische Forschungsgesellschaft mbH said the vaccine was found to be safe and effective in a Phase I trial.

TSS is typically triggered by bacteria from the Staphylococcus group, and while initially it was most often found in women who used tampons during their periods, it can also be found in women and men with skin infections or burns. It can also occur after surgery.

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Staphylococci colonize on skin and mucous membranes naturally and are for the most part harmless, Science Daily reported.

“However, for people with weakened immune systems, they can cause serious disease such as Toxic Shock Syndrome,” Martha Eibl, director of Biomedizinische Forschungsgesellscaft told Science Daily.

For the trial, researchers tested the vaccine on 46 men and women who were found to experience “practically no side effects,” Science Daily reported. Researchers are now concentrating on a Phase II trial with a larger test population.

“We are well on the way to having a vaccine that prevents this serious disease,” Eibl told Science Daily.