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COVID-19 Guidance: Guidance and operational updates for Cummings School and its veterinary teaching hospitals

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Anti-infective VNAs

The Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health is developing a novel anti-infection platform employing VHH-based neutralizing agents (VNAs) engineered for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, primarily for applications as enteric disease therapies. The department’s anti-infective strategy is to engineer VNAs that interfere in the motility of pathogens or their ability to infect host cells. Where pathogens employ toxins to facilitate their infection of hosts, or to enhance their distribution to new hosts, we also employ Novel Antitoxin Agents. This is a new area of research and is currently focused on the development of anti-infective agents for Shigellosis, and pathogenic E. coli such Diarrheagenic E. coli/HUS and should permit rapid development and commercialization of safe, effective prophylactic and therapeutic agents with low development and production costs and long shelf lives. This project works in collaboration with the laboratories of Dr. John Leong and Dr. Cammie Lesser and is currently working towards a proof-of-concept test of our strategy in one of the many animal models of enteric disease available within the Department of Infectious Diseases and Global Health.