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Deadly Bacteria Improves Vaccine Response

4/21/17 8:49 AM

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine are using bacteria to improve vaccines, and it may have exceeded expectations. They believe a protein found in deadly meningitis bacteria can not only boost the effectiveness of vaccines, but it could also help fight off other diseases.

The protein, known as PorB, is extracted from the exterior of the bacteria (neisseria meninditis) then purified and used as a component of the vaccine to provide better response. Typically, vaccines either increase the amount of antibody production or stimulate cytotoxic T cells, which directly kill the offending agent. However, the PorB protein was shown to do both.

"This study has wide implications as it could not only be used to help the body identify and fight off bacterial infections, but it could also potentially help the body use its own machinery to fight off other diseases like cancer, HIV, and influenza before they have a chance to establish within the body," says Lee Wetzler, professor of medicine and microbiology at BU's School of Medicine.

The study involved female mice, split into two groups. One group was given a vaccine with antigen, a substance that causes the immune system to produce antibodies, along with PorB. The other group was given the antigen alone. The mice that received the PorB had an increased number of activated cells in the lymph nodes and a gain in the production of cytotoxic T cells, compared to the mice only exposed to the antigen.

Currently, there is only one immune boosting substance similar to PorB. Monophosphoryl lipid A is also extracted from the surface of bacteria, but has only been used in one vaccine the in United States.

It's vital that vaccines are carefully handled and maintained at proper temperatures to ensure its safety and effectiveness. To help aid in the compliance of state regulations and CDC guidelines, MadgeTech offers the Vaccine Temperature Monitoring System (VTMS). This system is ideal for continuous monitoring and collection of readings need to satisfy validation requirements. To view all of the data logging solutions for medical and pharmaceutical applications, click here.

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