Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Body odor changes following vaccination

Date:
April 2, 2014
Source:
Monell Chemical Senses Center
Summary:
New research reveals that immunization can trigger a distinct change in body odor. This is the first demonstration of a bodily odor change due to immune activation. "This work provides further evidence that it is possible to use odors to 'eavesdrop' on the immune system, suggesting that non-invasive disease detection may be possible even before the onset of observable symptoms," one of the researchers said.

Our understanding of the role of body odor in conveying personal information continues to grow. New research from the Monell Chemical Senses Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that immunization can trigger a distinct change in body odor. This is the first demonstration of a bodily odor change due to immune activation.

The findings will appear in the April 10 issue of Physiology and Behavior. In addition, portions of the work will be presented on April 10 at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS)in Bonita Springs, FL.

"This work provides further evidence that it is possible to use odors to 'eavesdrop' on the immune system, suggesting that non-invasive disease detection may be possible even before the onset of observable symptoms," says Bruce Kimball, PhD, a research chemist with the USDA National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) stationed at the Monell Center. "The results have potential implications regarding disease surveillance in wildlife populations and food safety, bioterrorism, and human disease diagnosis."

In the study, 'biosensor' mice were trained to discriminate between urine odors from mice vaccinated against either the rabies virus (RV) or the West Nile virus (WNV). All training and testing trials were conducted using a Y-maze with odors randomly assigned to each arm of the "Y."

The biosensor mice were also trained to differentiate between urine from mice treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a bacterial toxin that activates the immune system, and untreated urine.

After completing training sessions, researchers conducted several validation trials using urine from unfamiliar individuals to exclude the possibility that individual odors, rather than treatment odors, were being detected. Following validation trials, several rounds of testing sessions were conducted.

The biosensor mice clearly discriminated RV, WNV, and LPS urine odors from non-treated urine. Furthermore, biosensors also were able to differentiate between the vaccines and LPS odors. However no discrimination was made between RV and WNV odors.

Together, the findings suggest that the two vaccines alter urine odor in similar ways, while an LPS-triggered immune response produces a qualitatively different body odor.

"This research indicates that there is a pathway between immune activation and changes in the body odor compounds, revealing yet another kind of information stored in body odors," said Monell behavioral biologist Gary Beauchamp, PhD, also an author on the paper. "It is likely that humans also have the potential to communicate the same information, although much more research is needed to demonstrate this."

Based on the hypothesis that immune-activated odors may signal the presence of disease to other members of a species, ongoing studies are exploring how vaccination-induced odor changes may influence mouse social and reproductive behavior.

More research is also necessary to investigate whether the mouse model employed in this study can be translated to other mammals, including humans, as a means of developing novel methods for detecting and diagnosing diseases.

Also contributing to the research, which was funded by the National Wildlife Research Center, were Kunio Yamazaki and Maryanne Opiekun of Monell. Dr. Yamazaki, who actively contributed to the design and realization of this work, died in April 2013.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Monell Chemical Senses Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bruce A. Kimball, Maryanne Opiekun, Kunio Yamazaki, Gary K. Beauchamp. Immunization alters body odor. Physiology & Behavior, 2014; 128: 80 DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.01.022

Cite This Page:

Monell Chemical Senses Center. "Body odor changes following vaccination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140402211946.htm>.
Monell Chemical Senses Center. (2014, April 2). Body odor changes following vaccination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140402211946.htm
Monell Chemical Senses Center. "Body odor changes following vaccination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140402211946.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. 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:
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