OSLO, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Researchers in Norway and Britain have found a method for predicting development of bacteria that can result in new and better vaccines, Norwegian public broadcaster NRK reported Thursday.
"The finding gives us a deeper understanding of how the immune response and the competition between bacterial strains function at population level," said Jukka Corander, professor of biostatics at the University of Oslo (UiO).
"This gives us an opportunity to develop brand new and better vaccines in the future," said Corander, who found the new method together with Nicholas Croucher from the Imperial College in London.
"Several vaccines against Escherichia coli bacteria are currently under development, and clinical trials are being conducted in, among others, Africa. Our finding shows that the potential for developing vaccines against E. coli is greater than it has been expected," he said.
There is a hope to develop sustainable vaccines against most bacteria that cause infections worldwide in future, Corander said.
According to the UiO professor, many top researchers showed interest in the method.
"They regard the study as a real 'game changer' for the bacterial evolution. This may be the biggest finding regarding bacterial evolution over the last decade," he said.
Vegard Eldholm, researcher in molecular biology at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, expressed belief that the method could be used in optimizing vaccine development.
"The researchers are actually building a mathematical model that reproduces the actual effect of the vaccine with great precision," he said.
"Vaccine development is still a quite old-fashioned process in many ways, but this type of study is potentially very important in the long run," Eldholm said.