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 October 20, 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 October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
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