Making vaccines more effective

September 19, 2012 by Catherine Somerville
Dr Irina Caminschi.

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists have discovered an important mechanism in which a synthetic DNA targets the immune system that could significantly improve the effectiveness of future vaccines.

This was published today in the (PNAS) journal.

Burnet Institute Centre for Immunology Laboratory Head, Dr Irina Caminschi, has identified for the first time a new receptor (DEC-205) that binds to the (known as CpG),

"CpG is very immune-stimulatory, it makes the immune system more reactive, which is why it is used in vaccines. It is currently in clinical trials for cancer and malaria vaccines," Dr Caminschi said.

"While testing it for various immune responses, we discovered a mechanism that elicits that very strong reaction."

Though researchers have used CpG to enhance immune responses, it was unknown which receptor the used to actually grab the DNA and internalise it for recognition.

"Essentially by understanding how the immune system recognises this foreign, synthetic DNA and the rules that govern this recognition, we can exploit it so that when it gets used in a vaccine it works better," Dr Caminschi said.

Explore further: Newest cancer therapies multi-task to eliminate tumors

Related Stories

Scientists discover new 'off switch' in immune response

February 28, 2012

Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a new 'off switch' in our immune response which could be boosted in diseases caused by over-activation of our immune system, or blocked to improve vaccines. The findings ...

Manipulating the immune system to develop 'next-gen' vaccines

April 5, 2012

The discovery of how a vital immune cell recognises dead and damaged body cells could modernise vaccine technology by 'tricking' cells into launching an immune response, leading to next-generation vaccines that are more specific, ...

Recommended for you

Immune system link to kidney disease risk, research finds

June 29, 2016

A gene which forms part of our body's first line of defence against infection may be associated with an increased risk with a type of kidney disease, research involving academics at The University of Nottingham has discovered.

Viral protein silences immune alarm signals

June 29, 2016

Viruses must avoid a host's immune system to establish successful infections—and scientists have discovered another tool that viruses use to frustrate host defenses. Researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia ...

Receptor suppresses the immune response in order to save it

June 29, 2016

When viruses enter the body, they activate receptors on the surface of cells that allow viruses to invade those cells. A Yale-led team has found that one of the receptors, known as AXL, actually plays an essential role in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.