Discovery of single virus could enhance vaccines

Vaccine candidate to improve immunity for crucial defense
Vaccine candidate to improve immunity for crucial defense | Courtesy of myvmc.org
A team of scientists have discovered a single virus that can generate a long-term immune response is specific areas of the body that are the first line of defense for fighting against infections, which could make the virus crucial to vaccines.

Nearly all infections must invade the body through eyes, mouths, guts, or lungs. After a virus passes these areas, the immune cells must fight the illness.

The single virus could generate an immune response that would feed sentinel cells through the mucous membranes, which would provide more immediate and improved protection in the body’s front defense lines. This could effectively stop diseases from settling in the body before they even begin invading.

"If you could get immune cells into those first-line tissues, like the lungs, or the mouth, then you might be able to prevent the disease developing, and a lot of current research suggests that you should improve how quickly the immune system responds," Christopher Snyder, Ph.D., senior author of the study and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Thomas Jefferson University, said. "Our work shows that cytomegalovirus activates the immune system to do just that, explaining why this virus might make for an excellent delivery system for vaccines against a number of pathogens including HIV or tuberculosis."

Further details are available in the Cell Reports journal.

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Thomas Jefferson University

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