Scientists are working on a vaccine that could reduce stress and we're definitely intrigued
It looks like scientists may be one step closer to developing a "stress vaccine" - and we're definitely intrigued.
A 2018 study found that a soil-based bacterium called Mycobacterium vaccae (M. vaccae) reduced the stressful reactions in mice.
The research team, led by University of Colorado Boulder's Integrative Physiology Professor Christopher Lowry, injected the mice with the bacterium before exposing them to stressful events.
In the short term, the 'vaccine' prevented a 'PTSD-like' syndrome. It also reduced stress reactions later on.
Last month, a new study by Lowry and his team was published. It identified an anti-inflammatory fat in the bacterium that may be responsible for the effects.
The team isolated and chemically synthesise the fatty acid, which enabled them to see how it interacted with immune cells.
Speaking about the new study, Lowry told CU Boulder Today:
“The idea is that as humans have moved away from farms and an agricultural or hunter-gatherer existence into cities, we have lost contact with organisms that served to regulate our immune system and suppress inappropriate inflammation.
“That has put us at higher risk for inflammatory disease and stress-related psychiatric disorders.”
However, Lowry noted that the vaccine is still a long way off from being ready.
He told the Denver Post that it may be 10 to 15 years before the vaccine would be available.
“The power of nature continues to amaze and surprise us as scientists and we look forward to learning more."