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Working towards a Group A Streptococcal vaccine: Report of a collaborative Trans-Tasman workshop

Abstract

Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections represent a major public health burden in both developing and developed countries. In Australia and New Zealand GAS associated diseases are serious problems in Indigenous populations and a major cause of health inequality. Political recognition of these inequalities is providing impetus for strategies that reduce GAS disease and the development of a GAS vaccine now has governmental support in both Australia and New Zealand. Accordingly, an expert workshop was convened in March 2013 to consider available data on GAS vaccines. M-protein based vaccines constructed from the hyper-variable N-terminal region (30-valent vaccine) or the conserved C-repeat domain (J8 vaccine) were reviewed together with vaccine candidates identified using multi high-throughput approaches. Performing a comprehensive assessment of regional GAS strain epidemiology, defining the immune correlates of protection, and the establishment of clinical trial sites were identified as critical activities for a Trans-Tasman vaccine development programme.

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