Designing a more effective flu vaccine

image copy

A growing body of evidence suggests that a history of exposure to influenza virus might be undermining the effectiveness of the annual flu vaccine. Partial immunity developed during prior flu seasons—either through natural infection or vaccination—might interfere with the body’s response to a new vaccine, such that vaccination mainly boosts the recognition of prior influenza strains, but does little to create the ability to fight new strains.

To get decades-long immunity against the new strains, the flu strains from the vaccine need to be taken to the lymph nodes, where they can be used to train a new set of naïve B cells and induce long-lived memory B cells specifically tailored to recognize the unique features of the vaccine strains. To find out what happens inside lymph nodes after influenza vaccination, [immunologist Ali] Ellebedy, teamed up with co-authors [associate professor of medicine] Rachel Presti [and professor of radiology] Sharlene Teefey.

Related article:  What's holding up gene therapy? Making drugs on a large scale
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

As Ellebedy noted, “Our study shows that the influenza vaccine can engage both [short and long term] cells in the germinal centers [in the lymph nodes], but we still don’t know how often that happens. But given that influenza vaccine effectiveness hovers around 50%, it probably doesn’t happen as often as we would like. That brings up the importance of promoting strategies to boost the germinal centers as a step toward a universal influenza vaccine.”

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

As of 1 December 2020, thirteen vaccines have reached the final stage of testing: where they are being given to ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend