Research may lead to improved vaccines for respiratory infections

Jan 18, 2011

A collaborative project between researchers at the Trudeau Institute and their colleagues at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., offers new insights that may lead to an improved strategy to protect against the influenza virus and other viruses that infect the respiratory tract.

The study examines the migration of to the mucosal tissues of the nose in response to a viral infection.

"As a result of this study, we learned that cells arrive early during the infection and persist at the site for months afterwards, providing a first line of defense against a second infection with the virus," said David L. Woodland, Ph.D., president and director of the Trudeau Institute and one of the study's authors.

"These cells are 'soldiers' that guard nasal passages and combat viruses at their site of entry. In the future, a single application of by or drops may be all that is needed for long-term protection against some serious respiratory virus infections," said Dr. Julia L. Hurwitz, Ph.D., Full Member of the Department of Infectious Diseases at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

This new information, reported in the current issue of the scientific journal Virology, has major implications for future vaccine research and could lead to the development of vaccines designed to promote immunity to respiratory infections.

"The migration patterns and characteristics of these cells are of particular interest, since they are the very cells one would like to elicit with a vaccine," said Woodland.

Scientists are working toward the ultimate goal of developing a universal , capable of protecting against all strains of flu, including seasonal and those that develop into pandemics. Vaccines for the parainfluenza viruses and respiratory syncytial virus are also being sought. The Trudeau and St. Jude research groups are optimistic that this new information is an important contribution to that end.

Explore further: Stem cells from nerves form teeth

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Directing immune traffic -- signposts to the lung

May 10, 2010

Inducing cellular immunity as a means to protect against influenza virus is the focus of several laboratories at the Trudeau Institute. Researchers here have recently identified two important signaling components ...

Unusual flu vaccine is developed

Jun 14, 2006

U.S. scientists have used reverse genetics to develop an influenza virus with two key proteins on its surface derived from the H5N1 avian virus strain.

Recommended for you

Diet affects men's and women's gut microbes differently

8 hours ago

The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published ...

Researchers explore what happens when heart cells fail

10 hours ago

Through a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Naomi Chesler will embark upon a new collaborative research project to better understand ...

Stem cells from nerves form teeth

12 hours ago

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that stem cells inside the soft tissues of the tooth come from an unexpected source, namely nerves. These findings are now being published in the journal Nature and co ...

User comments : 0