Washington D.C. [USA], April 10 : A team of US researchers has discovered a protein that can help the vaccinations be more effective and provide protection from cancer, HIV and influenza.
Researchers from Boston University's school of medicine purified a protein - called PorB - found on the exterior of bacteria (neisseria meningidis) and used it as an accessory to provide a better vaccination response.
Typically, vaccines can either increase the amount of antibody production or they can stimulate cells called cytotoxic T cells to directly kill the offending agent.
In this case, the protein, is unique in that it can do both. The findings, appeared in journal of Scientific Reports, allows for greater understanding of how vaccine enhancers work and can best be used.
"This study has wide implications as it cannot only be used to help the body identify and fight off bacterial infections, but it could also potentially help the body to use its own machinery to fight diseases like cancer, HIV and influenza, before they have a chance to establish within the body," said corresponding author Lee Wetzler.
The team used two experimental models - first model was given a vaccination with antigen and mixed PorB, while the second model was given the antigen alone.
The model that received the protein - PorB -had an increase in the response to the vaccine antigen, evidenced by an increased number of activated cells in the lymph nodes and a gain in the production of cytotoxic T cells, as compared to the vaccination with the antigen alone.
Our study deepens the general understanding of how vaccine adjuvants modulate immune responses. "The antigen formulation with PorB triggers a sequence of cellular events at the periphery and in lymphoid tissue that are critical for the establishment of protection to a broad array of infectious diseases, and maybe for other diseases like cancer," Wetzler concluded.