Adjuvant therapy as an additive in vaccinations against flu

A team of researchers from the United States found that adding a specific adjuvant therapy to a vaccine increases the ability of the vaccine to combat multiple strains of the virus. In their article published in the journal Science, the group describes the use of lipids to encapsulate the adjuvant so that alveolar macrophages can recognize them. Susanne Herold and Leif-Erik Sander from the Universities of Gießen and Marburg Lung Cancer and the Berlin Institute for Health published an article in the same magazine issue that describes the team's work.

Adjuvant therapy as a remedy for viruses

adjuvant therapy vaccine additive against flu

In the current vaccine creation strategy, health officials in several countries are studying outbreak patterns of different strains. They then develop vaccines against those most likely to spread to an outbreak in a particular country. The scientists can repeat the process seasonally, with the pharmacy producing new vaccines every year.

scientists develop vaccinations in the laboratory

What would be better, of course, would be a single vaccine to prevent outbreaks of all strains that could pose a threat. Such a vaccine is not yet available, but scientists are working hard to develop one. With these new efforts, researchers have come a step closer to a new approach to using an inactivated virus. This can cause the immune system to activate a stronger immune response. This would normally only be the case when the body detects a virus strain. So far it worked as planned for mice and ferrets.

The new approach included the combination of an inactivated virus with 2, 3, cyclic guanosine monophosphate adenosine monophosphate (cGAMP). This is a well-known activator of the immune response. To prevent the body from overreacting, the researchers covered it with a lipid made from a surfactant.

Microbiologist virus strain in a test tube under a microscope

According to the study, the researchers then mixed the two components into a nasal spray. Using this approach, the researchers found that the PS-GAMP nanoparticles were drawn into alveolar macrophages, which they then transferred to an innate immune sensor stimulator of interferon genes and activated. This allowed the immune system to defend itself better against all five flu strains tested.

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