Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Two-pronged immune cell approach could lead to a universal shot against the flu

Date:
March 14, 2013
Source:
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Summary:
Influenza virus-specific CD8+ T cells or virus-specific non-neutralizing antibodies are each relatively ineffective at conferring protective immunity alone. But, when combined, the virus-specific CD8 T cells and non-neutralizing antibodies cooperatively elicit robust protective immunity.

A two-pronged immune cell approach could lead to a universal shot against the flu.
Credit: Subbotina Anna / Fotolia

Seasonal epidemics of influenza result in nearly 36,000 deaths annually in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Current vaccines against the influenza virus elicit an antibody response specific for proteins on the outside of the virus, specifically the hemagglutinin (HA) protein.

Yearly vaccines are made by growing the flu virus in eggs. The viral envelope proteins, including HA, are cleaved off and used as the vaccine, but vary from year to year, depending on what flu strains are prevalent. However, high mutation rates in envelope HA proteins result in the emergence of new viral types each year, which elude neutralization by preexisting antibodies in the body (specifically the HA proteins' specific receptor binding sites that are the targets of neutralizing antibodies). On the other hand, other immune cell types are capable of mediating protection through recognition of other, more conserved parts of HAs or highly conserved internal proteins in the influenza virus.

E. John Wherry, PhD, associate professor of Microbiology and director of the Institute for Immunology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues, report in PLOS Pathogens that influenza virus-specific CD8+ T cells or virus-specific non-neutralizing antibodies are each relatively ineffective at conferring protective immunity alone. But, when combined, the virus-specific CD8 T cells and non-neutralizing antibodies cooperatively elicit robust protective immunity.

This synergistic improvement in protective immunity is dependent, at least in part, on other immune cells -- lung macrophages and phagocytes. An implication of this work is that immune responses targeting parts of the virus that are not highly variable can be combined for effective protection.

"The two-pronged approach is synergistic, so by enlisting two suboptimal vaccine approaches, we achieved a better effect than each alone in an experimental model," says Wherry. "Now, we are rethinking past approaches and looking for ways to combine T-cell vaccines and antibody vaccines to make a more effective combined vaccine."

"Overall, our studies suggest that an influenza vaccine capable of eliciting both CD8+ T cells and antibodies specific for highly conserved influenza proteins may be able to provide protection in humans, and act as the basis for a potential 'universal' vaccine," says Wherry.

These results suggest a novel strategy that could potentially form a primary component of a universal influenza vaccine capable of providing long-lasting protection.

Co-authors include Brian J. Laidlaw, Vilma Decman, Mohammed-Alkhatim A. Ali, Michael C. Abt, Amaya I. Wolf, Laurel A. Monticelli, Krystyna Mozdzanowska, Jill M. Angelosanto, David Artis, and Jan Erikson.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (HHSN272201100018C, AI077098).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brian J. Laidlaw, Vilma Decman, Mohammed-Alkhatim A. Ali, Michael C. Abt, Amaya I. Wolf, Laurel A. Monticelli, Krystyna Mozdzanowska, Jill M. Angelosanto, David Artis, Jan Erikson, E. John Wherry. Cooperativity Between CD8 T Cells, Non-Neutralizing Antibodies, and Alveolar Macrophages Is Important for Heterosubtypic Influenza Virus Immunity. PLoS Pathogens, 2013; 9 (3): e1003207 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003207

Cite This Page:

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "Two-pronged immune cell approach could lead to a universal shot against the flu." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130314175657.htm>.
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. (2013, March 14). Two-pronged immune cell approach could lead to a universal shot against the flu. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130314175657.htm
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "Two-pronged immune cell approach could lead to a universal shot against the flu." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130314175657.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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