Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How common immune booster works: Research may lead to new and improved vaccines

Date:
March 16, 2011
Source:
University of Calgary
Summary:
Alum is an adjuvant (immune booster) used in many common vaccines, and researchers have now discovered how it works.

Alum is an adjuvant (immune booster) used in many common vaccines, and Canadian researchers have now discovered how it works. The research by scientists from the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine is published in the March 13 online edition of Nature Medicine. The new findings will help the medical community produce more effective vaccines and may open the doors for creating new vaccines for diseases such as HIV or tuberculosis.

Related Articles


"Understanding alum properties will help other vaccines because we are one step deeper into the mechanistic insight of adjuvants, which are essential for human vaccines to work," says Yan Shi, PhD, from the Faculty of Medicine and a member of the Snyder Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation.

Alum is a common grocery store staple used in pickling. It is very effective in inducing antibody responses and is the only human vaccine adjuvant approved for large-scale immunization. It has been in use for 90 years and appears in almost all vaccines we receive as without an adjuvant vaccines in general do not work.

"Knowledge provided in this study may help us manipulate alum with additional adjuvant components to direct an attack against major diseases which require a killer T cell response such as HIV, Tuberculosis, and malaria," says Tracy Flach from the Faculty of Medicine and the study's first author.

The research reveals that alum interacts with a group of immune cells called dendritic cells via their cell membrane lipids. Dendritic cells, the sentinel of our immune system, heed the call of alum and move on to activate a group of T cells that control antibody production.

The breakthrough came as the team made use of a cutting edge technology developed in the Faculty of Medicine called single cell force spectroscopy. This technique allowed the UCalgary team to study individual cells and measure their responses to alum.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, Canada Research Chair program and Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Tracy L Flach, Gilbert Ng, Aswin Hari, Melanie D Desrosiers, Ping Zhang, Sandra M Ward, Mark E Seamone, Akosua Vilaysane, Ashley D Mucsi, Yin Fong, Elmar Prenner, Chang Chun Ling, Jurg Tschopp, Daniel A Muruve, Matthias W Amrein, Yan Shi. Alum interaction with dendritic cell membrane lipids is essential for its adjuvanticity. Nature Medicine, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nm.2306

Cite This Page:

University of Calgary. "How common immune booster works: Research may lead to new and improved vaccines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314100829.htm>.
University of Calgary. (2011, March 16). How common immune booster works: Research may lead to new and improved vaccines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314100829.htm
University of Calgary. "How common immune booster works: Research may lead to new and improved vaccines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314100829.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) At least 1 in 5,000 U.S. babies are born each year with intersex conditions _ ambiguous genitals because of genetic glitches or hormone problems. Secrecy and surgery are common. But some doctors and activists are trying to change things. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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