Priti Desai, PhD

Priti Desai is currently heading the Department of Biological Science and Biotechnology at Institute of Advanced Research (IAR) Gandhinagar. Before joining IAR, She was working as a scientist in Cell and Molecular Biology Department of B.V. Patel PERD (Pharmaceutical Education & Research Development) Centre, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. She has received a PhD degreein Biochemistry from Bhavanagar University, Gujarat.She was also associated with Cadila Pharmaceutical Pvt., Ltd before joining PERD centre. She has completed her postdoctoralresearchfrom National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research (NIPER) Ahmedabad and was recipient of Department of Biotechnology (DBT) – Research Associateship.She has more than 19 years of research and 10 years of teaching experience.

Her research interests are bacterial pathogenesis and development of prophylactic against enteric pathogens mainly for Shigella and Salmonella. She has published several research articles in the area of vaccine design and development in various recognized internationscientific journals. She is the receipt of various national and international travel awards.  She has also received various government funding for her research work related to vaccine development. Currently she is working on the development of bivalent vaccine against Shigella and Salmonella which is funded by SERB, DST in collaboration with NIRRH, Mumbai.


Vaccine Development against Enteric Pathogens: Current Challenges and Future Prospective

Priti Desai, Institute of Advanced Research (IAR), Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

Diarrheal disease remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity among younger children in developing and underdeveloped countries including in India. Children who survive from this illness suffer from malnourishment which can lead to stunted growth and impaired cognitive development as well as other long-term health problems. The pathogens which are mainly responsible for the diarrheal disease are rotavirus, Vibrio cholera, Salmonella, Shigella and EnterotoxogenicE. coli (ETEC).

Although vaccination is considered to be one of the most effective ways to prevent infection and disease establishment, vaccines against most of the enteric pathogens such as Shigella and ETEC are still not available in the market. Major challenges in development of vaccines against such pathogens are antigenic heterogeneity among different pathogenic strains of the same bacteria, a lack of animal challenge models, undefined correlation between host immune response to protection and failure to induce protective cellular immunity with long lasting humoral immunity.

Currently numerous vaccine constructs are under various developmental stages which includes live attenuated, formalin killed whole cell, glycoconjugate and subunit using Type III secretion system and outer membrane proteins. Apart from these traditional approaches, a novel platform for delivery of antigens using mucosal route has been explored which includes bacterium like particle (BLP) and live food grade bacteria using Lactococcus lactis. These novel platforms have their own advantages such as the ability to induce mucosal immunity, safe delivery orally, non-invasive, GRAS status and cost effectiveness.

In my talk, we will discuss in detail about various strategies used to develop vaccines against enteric pathogens including our recently developed vaccine platform LacVax® OmpA against Shigella.