Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Immune System Quirk Could Lead To Effective Tularemia Vaccine

Date:
October 24, 2009
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
Immunologists have found a unique quirk in the way the immune system fends off bacteria called Francisella tularensis, which could lead to vaccines that are better able to prevent tularemia infection of the lungs.

Immunologists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the have found a unique quirk in the way the immune system fends off bacteria called Francisella tularensis, which could lead to vaccines that are better able to prevent tularemia infection of the lungs. Their findings were published today in the early, online version of Immunity.

Related Articles


F. tularensis is an intracellular pathogen that infects cells in the lungs called macrophages, explained senior author Shabaana A. Khader, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and immunology at the School of Medicine and an immunologist at Children's Hospital. Until now, scientists thought that eliciting a strong immune response to clear the infection would only require activation of a cytokine protein called interferon gamma (IFN-gamma). But that's not true for F. tularensis as it is for other intracellular bacteria, such as the TB-causing Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

"Our lab experiments show that in order to activate IFN-gamma in pulmonary tularemia, it is necessary to first induce production of another cytokine called interleukin-17," Dr. Khader explained. "So if we want to make an effective vaccine against tularemia, we must target ways to boost IL-17."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virulent strain of tularemia commonly causes infection in wild animals, and about 200 human cases are reported annually in the United States. It can be spread through the bites of infected insects, the handling of sick or dead animals, eating or drinking bacteria-contaminated food or water, or by inhalation of airborne bacteria. Antibiotic treatment is effective.

Although not transmissible from person to person, it is highly infectious. Because only a small amount of the virulent bacteria can cause disease and spread through the air to cause severe respiratory illness, it could be a candidate for a bioweapon, the CDC has noted. A safe, lab-adapted live vaccine strain was used in Dr. Khader's study.

Dr. Khader's team will continue its work by studying how to target lung IL-17 responses to develop vaccine strategies for pulmonary tularemia.

Study authors are from Children's Hospital, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Washington University School of Medicine and the University of Tokyo.

The research was funded with grants from the National Institutes of Health and Children's Hospital.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Immune System Quirk Could Lead To Effective Tularemia Vaccine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022122325.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2009, October 24). Immune System Quirk Could Lead To Effective Tularemia Vaccine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022122325.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Immune System Quirk Could Lead To Effective Tularemia Vaccine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022122325.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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