WARF: P00200US

Recombinant, Attenuated Vaccine for Blastomyces Dermatitidis to Prevent Fungal Infection


Bruce Klein, Theodore Brandhorst, Marcel Wuethrich

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing an attenuated, replication-competent strain of B. dermatitidis that serves as a highly effective vaccine against the systemic, lethal infectious disease caused by the fungi.
OVERVIEWBlastomyces dermatitidis and related fungi are found worldwide and produce progressive pulmonary and disseminated infections in both humans and animals (primarily dogs). Infectious B. dermatitidis converts to pathogenic yeast forms in vivo, which produce influenza or pneumonia, and disseminate, resulting in serious damage to the lungs and other organs and death to untreated individuals. Thus, there is the need for an effective vaccine against B. dermatitidis.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have successfully engineered an attenuated, replication-competent strain of B. dermatitidis that is incapable of expressing the cell wall protein WI-1. This recombinant, attenuated strain serves as a highly effective vaccine against the systemic, lethal infectious disease caused by B. dermatitidis and possibly against related fungi. In vitro, the number of lung colony forming units, as a sign of lung infection, revealed a substantial decrease in wild type infection.

The present invention describes use of the genetically engineered fungus as a vaccine given subcutaneously in multiple doses. Dosages can be administered at high levels to provide infection resistance yet low enough so that the fungus is cleared from the body. The researchers are currently conducting in vivo studies with dogs.
  • Prevention or treatment of infection caused by B. dermatitidis
  • Recombinant B. dermatitidis does not revert to virulent wild-type form and cause infection
  • The vaccine has a long-lasting protective effect
  • A vaccine against one strain provides protection against others from diverse geographic regions
  • The recombinant strain is easy to grow and prepare for vaccination
  • Little toxicity was observed in mice or dogs, even when the vaccine was given at extremely high doses
  • Survival rates in vaccinated mice after infection were approximately 90%, with complete clearance of the lethal wild-type strain observed in the majority of infected animals
For More Information About the Inventors
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Mark Staudt at or 608-960-9845.
The WARF Advantage

WARF: A Leader in Technology Transfer Since 1925
Since its founding as a private, nonprofit affiliate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, WARF has provided patent and licensing services to UW–Madison and worked with commercial partners to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.

The University of Wisconsin and WARF –
A Single Location to Accelerate Translational Development of New Drugs

UW–Madison has the integrative capabilities to complete many key components of the drug development cycle, from discovery through clinical trials. As one of the top research universities in the world, and one of the two best-funded universities for research in the country, UW–Madison offers state-of-the-art facilities unmatched by most public universities.

These include the Small Molecule Screening Facility at the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Zeeh Pharmaceutical Experiment Station, which provides consulting and laboratory services for developing formulations and studying solubility, stability and more; the Waisman Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility; the Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research, which provides UW–Madison with a complete translational research facility; and the innovative, interdisciplinary Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, home to the private, nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research and its public twin, WID, part of the university's graduate school. The highly qualified experts at these facilities are ready to work with you to create a library of candidates for drug development.