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AIIMS may discover oral Hapatitis B vaccine by 2021

New Delhi, June 7 :  The All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Tuesday said it has developed nanoparticles loaded with antigen protein segment which could lead to the first oral Hepatitis B vaccine in the world if positive results were obtained during human trials.

According to the premier institution, if the technology becomes a reality then the oral vaccine could become a reality by 2021, doing away with the injections and booster doses, which are currently required after every Hepatitis vaccine.

“The new technology was tested on a group of mice and during the study, superior antibody response with higher antigen levels were observed even beyond two months after single administration,” said A.K. Dinda, Professor of Pathology department at AIIMS.

He said the current practice of immunisation against Hepatitis B are injectable vaccines and require two boosters, first after one month and the second after six months.

Post-research, Dinda said: “To create these nanoparticles, scientists have used polymer material with a detergent-like substance and then loaded them with antigen protein segments and then transported them inside the body of the mouse.”

Dinda said that once the vaccine is prepared it will be completely safe, cost-effective and help in mass immunisation.

“This will also remove the need for people to make repeated visits to doctors. Also, in rural settings, needles are often not properly sterilised and there is risk of infection.”

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver. India has 40 million Hepatitis B infected patients, second only to China.