(Black Press Media file photo)

Vaccine against fentanyl shows promising results in rats: U.S. study

Rats chose food more times instead of fentanyl after receiving the vaccine treatment

A vaccine against fentanyl addiction is showing promising results in a recent study.

Research published in the American journal Neuropsychopharmacology last week found that a fentanyl antigen (an antigen triggers the production of antibodies) combined with a type of tetanus vaccine decreased drug-taking behaviour in rats and increased food choices, according to a news release.

British Columbia reported more than 1,300 illicit drug overdose deaths related to fentanyl in 2018, an increase of seven per cent from 2017.

“More effective and readily available treatments for opioid use disorder are needed to tackle the current crisis,” said lead authors Kim Janda, a professor at Scripps Research in San Diego, and Dr. Matthew Banks of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.

READ MORE: Health Canada tightens marketing requirements for opioid prescriptions

“One strategy includes using opioid-targeted vaccines to elicit antibody production by the host’s immune system that recognize and block the passage of a specific opioid into the brain and peripheral organs/tissue.”

The study focused on the rats’ behavioural patterns and the number of times they chose fentanyl injections or food.

Before the treatment, rats chose a large amount of fentanyl, but within four weeks of being vaccinated, the number of times they chose the drug decreased.

The effectiveness of the vaccine has not been studied in humans.



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sockeye fishery estimates cut in half on Vancouver Island’s Somass River

Alberni area fisheries closed; poor ocean survival a prime suspect

Wolves not to blame for Island’s deer and marmot populations, says researcher

Forestry practices, not predation, blamed for reduced numbers in prey animals

RCMP identify Sidney bank robbery suspect, believe he is still on Vancouver Island

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

PHOTOS: You should see what we heard at the Vancouver Island Music Fest

This year’s lineup included Colin James, Tom Cochrane and lots more

U.S. tug firm to be sentenced for 2016 spill in B.C. First Nation’s territory

he Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Island man narrowly escapes being run down by his own truck

Saanich resident working on his truck on Darwin Avenue, when it started to roll on him

SLIDESHOW: ‘Lightning’ hits Vancouver Island for annual Sproat Lake regatta

Alberni Valley Regatta Association hosted sixth annual races

SLIDESHOW: Vancouver Islanders gather for classic cars and cool aircraft

Campbell River’s annual Wings & Wheels event held at city’s airport

Most Read