Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vaccine For Pneumococcus Disease Possible, With New Immune System Finding

Date:
September 27, 2008
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
New research has shown how the immune system detects and destroys the bug, pneumococcus, which could help in the development of a new vaccine against the disease.

Scanning electron micrograph of streptococcus pneumoniae.
Credit: Janice Haney Carr

New research has shown how the immune system detects and destroys the bug, pneumococcus, which could help in the development of a new vaccine against the disease.

Pneumococcus is a bacterium which causes a lot of illness and disease in the very young and the elderly, including pneumonia and meningitis. Large numbers of pneumonia deaths occur in children every year especially in poor countries. Existing vaccines are not ideal for use in such countries and are also much too expensive.

Carriage of pneumococcus in the nose is a necessary first step for most infections. As children age, they carry pneumococcus for shorter periods of time and their risk of disease decreases also. The mechanisms underlying this age-related decrease of carriage are not well understood.

As part of a continuing collaboration between labs at the universities of Bristol and Harvard, researchers have shed new light on how the immune system detects and destroys the bug when it colonises the nose. The study is published in PLoS Pathogens.

American researchers led by Drs Richard Malley and Marc Lipsitch have produced evidence for a key role for the recently described cytokine interleukin 17 in a mouse model of the infection. The Bristol group led by Professor Adam Finn have shown that immune cells from children's tonsils, removed at surgery, also produce IL17 when stimulated with pneumococci.

The researchers have identified the immune cells that are responsible for this process, so-called TH17 cells, which release a factor that enables human blood cells to kill pneumococcus more efficiently. They have shown that these TH17 cells exist in adults and children, but not in newborn babies, which suggests that they may arise as a consequence of humans being exposed to pneumococcus.

Professor Finn said: "Understanding how children build up immunity to pneumococcus will help the development of effective affordable vaccines for use where they are most needed."

In the past, immunity to pneumococcus was thought to be due entirely to antibodies. This new research suggests that other mechanisms may be very important too.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Vaccine For Pneumococcus Disease Possible, With New Immune System Finding." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080922122513.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2008, September 27). Vaccine For Pneumococcus Disease Possible, With New Immune System Finding. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080922122513.htm
University of Bristol. "Vaccine For Pneumococcus Disease Possible, With New Immune System Finding." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080922122513.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins