Scientists develop vaccine that may help control autism symptoms

Researchers at the University of Guelph say they have developed the first vaccine that may treat some of the symptoms associated with autism.

The study by master’s student Brittany Pequegnat and Guelph chemistry professor Mario Monteiro appeared in the academic journal Vaccine this month, the university said in a press release issued Wednesday.

The finding came as the pair researched a vaccine for the gut bacteria Clostridium bolteae, which is often found in higher-than-usual numbers in children with autism.

About 75 per cent of children with autism suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea. Eventually, this vaccine may help doctors treat such symptoms.

The vaccine could take up to 10 or more years to get through trials and become commercially available. “But this is a significant first step in the design of a multivalent vaccine against several autism-related gut bacteria,” Monteiro says in a release.