Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Toward a vaccine to improve immune system in newborns

Date:
December 16, 2009
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
As soon as babies are born, they are susceptible to diseases and infections, such as jaundice and e-coli. For up to a month, their immune systems aren't adequately developed to fight diseases. Although these infections are often minor, they can lead to serious problems if left untreated. To help strengthen newborns' immune systems, researchers have pinpointed a group of depleted white blood cells, which might lead to an immune-strengthening vaccine.

As soon as babies are born, they are susceptible to diseases and infections, such as jaundice and e-coli. For up to a month, their immune systems aren't adequately developed to fight diseases. Although these infections are often minor, they can lead to serious problems if left untreated. To help strengthen newborns' immune systems, University of Missouri researchers have pinpointed a group of depleted white blood cells, which might lead to an immune-strengthening vaccine.

"We're trying to improve the immune system of newborns to make them more like adults' immune systems and, therefore, less susceptible to diseases," said Christine Hoeman, doctoral student in the MU School of Medicine. "Although our testing has only been on animal models thus far, our ultimate goal is to create better pediatric vaccines for humans to improve the balance within the immune system."

Hoeman and Habib Zaghouani, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology and child health at the MU School of Medicine, have found that newborns have an imbalance of two different groups of T-helper cells (TH cells), which are white blood cells and the main fighters in the immune system. Newborns have a large amount of TH2 cells, a group of white blood cells that mediate allergic reactions, but not enough of TH1 cells, a group of white blood cells that fight infections.

Environmental factors also affect the imbalance of these two groups of T-helper cells. The first time newborns are exposed to an antigen, or a foreign substance that illicits a response in the immune system, their white blood cells are balanced, but the second time they are exposed to the antigen, they create too much of TH2 and not enough of TH1. This imbalance is what leads to possible infection and allergic reactions.

"What's happening is that the TH2 cells are killing the TH1 cells, creating the imbalance," Hoeman said. "Once we know more about the timeline of the imbalance, we can start to develop the vaccine, which would increase the levels of TH1 and would ideally be administered in newborns soon after they're born."

Hoeman and Zaghouani's research has been published in The Journal of Environmental Medicine and Trends in Immunology.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Toward a vaccine to improve immune system in newborns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091215121053.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2009, December 16). Toward a vaccine to improve immune system in newborns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091215121053.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Toward a vaccine to improve immune system in newborns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091215121053.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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