Reports say that scientists have created a vaccine that protects against both anthrax and plague amid fears of terror threats.
Bacteria behind anthrax and pneumonic plague are two of the deadliest pathogens that could be used in warfare and researchers from The Catholic University of America therefore created a single vaccine that could provide completion protection against the two diseases.
Tests on animals showed the vaccine worked, even if they were infected with a deadly dose of either of the two killer pathogens.
Speaking about it, lead author Dr Pan Tao said that the dual anthrax-plague vaccine is a strong candidate for stockpiling against a potential bioterror attack involving either one or both of these biothreat agents.
The Washington DC-based team combined toxins from the bacteria Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, which cause anthrax and the pneumonic plague, respectively.
These toxins are known to stimulate an immune response when a person becomes infected.
When given to mice, rats and rabbits, the vaccine gave complete protection against both diseases, even when the animals were infected with doses that are known to deadly.
The jab is thought to stimulate immune cells to clear the bacteria from the body. It is unclear when it may be available.
The study was published in the journal of the American Society for Microbiology.