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Needle-Free Vaccine for Bubonic Plague to be Developed in the UK

April 10, 2019 / JONATHAN SMITH

The UK biotech Enesi Pharma has joined forces with researchers from the University of Oxford to develop a vaccine for the bubonic plague that is simple to use and doesn’t require needles. Caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, the bubonic plague is infamous for having killed over 50 million Europeans in the Middle Ages. While rarely in Europe today, the disease still kills hundreds of people worldwide, particularly in Africa. Although vaccines for the plague have been tried for decades, they have given only transient protection, and can’t protect against all forms of the plague, such as pneumonic plague. Since Y. pestis is capable of developing antibiotics resistance, the plague could one day re-emerge as a worldwide concern, and even has the potential to become a bio-weapon.