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

Related Stories

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, ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Nature study suggests new therapy for Gaucher disease

February 22, 2017

Scientists propose in Nature blocking a molecule that drives inflammation and organ damage in Gaucher and maybe other lysosomal storage diseases as a possible treatment with fewer risks and lower costs than current therapies.

T cells support long-lived antibody-producing cells

February 21, 2017

If you've ever wondered how a vaccine given decades ago can still protect against infection, you have your plasma cells to thank. Plasma cells are long-lived B cells that reside in the bone marrow and churn out antibodies ...

Understanding how HIV evades the immune system

February 21, 2017

Monash University (Australia) and Cardiff University (UK) researchers have come a step further in understanding how the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) evades the immune system.

Yeast found in babies' guts increases risk of asthma

February 17, 2017

University of British Columbia microbiologists have found a yeast in the gut of new babies in Ecuador that appears to be a strong predictor that they will develop asthma in childhood. The new research furthers our understanding ...

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.