Irony anyone? A vaccine to help autistic children.

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images (2)Fans of irony will be hard-pressed to suppress a smile here. Researchers at The University of Guelph in Ontario are developing a novel vaccine which may help control the gastrointestinal symptoms that are commonly seen in children with autism. The vaccine will have no direct effect on the behavioral aspects of the disease, nor will it in any way reverse it, but it could help make kids lives a little easier.

Researchers Brittany Pequegnat and Mario Monteiro are working on a carbohydrate-based vaccine against Clostridium bolteae a bacterium which is known to play a role in gastrointestinal disorders, and is found more frequently in the GI tracts of autistic children than in those without the condition.

Indeed, more than 90 per cent of children with autism suffer chronically from severe gastrointestinal symptoms with 75 per cent sufferring from diarrhea.

According to Monteiro, Little is known about the factors that predispose autistic children to C. bolteae infection. This is the first vaccine designed to control constipation and diarrhea caused by C. bolteae and perhaps control autism-related symptoms associated with this microbe.

Although antibiotics are commonly used now, Monteiro said that a vaccine would improve current treatment.

While the vaccine is at least ten years away, the authors called the study, which appeared this month in the journal Vaccine, groundbreaking.

ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom comments, Given the damage done by Andrew Wakefield s fraudulent study that falsely implied the MMR vaccine caused autism, there is something delicious about the concept of a vaccine that not only doesn t cause autism, but actually helps treat it.