Researchers at Emory University have used one of the most successful vaccines, yellow fever, to promote longer-lasting immunity for vaccine recipients. And their discoveries could lead to fewer booster shots for a myriad of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Emory postdoctoral fellow Sudhir Pai Kasturi and his colleague Niren Murthy developed nanoparticles that imitated the yellow fever virus' stimulation of Toll-like receptors, which causes an immune reaction that lasts for decades.
"These results address a long‑standing puzzle in vaccinology: how do successful vaccines induce longlasting immunity?" senior author of the Nature article, Bali Pulendran said in a release. "These particles could provide an instant way to stretch scarce supplies when access to viral material is limited, such as pandemic flu or during an emerging infection. In addition, there are many diseases, such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and dengue, that still lack effective vaccines, where we anticipate that this type of immunity enhancer could play a role."
The three components used in Kasturi's research are individually FDA approved. In trials using mice, the vaccines produced an anthrax immunity for 18 months, or a complete mouse's lifetime. Monkey trials produced immune responses five times greater than those using solely the viral protein.
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