Making Vaccines More Effective

Considering that the top two reasons people shy away from vaccinations, or decide they are not right for their family, are vaccine safety and vaccine effectiveness, researchers have been trying to figure out how to fix both of these problems.  And, according to Medical Xpress research has discovered something that may be a step in the right direction for leery consumers concerning vaccine effectiveness.

Scientists have discovered an important mechanism in which a synthetic DNA targets the immune system that could significantly improve the effectiveness of future vaccines.

Burnet Institute Centre for Immunology Laboratory Head, Dr Irina Caminschi, has identified for the first time a new receptor (DEC-205) that binds to the synthetic DNA (known as CpG). “CpG is very immune-stimulatory, it makes the immune system more reactive, which is why it is used in vaccines. It is currently in clinical trials for cancer and malaria vaccines,” Dr Caminschi said.

“While testing it for various immune responses, we discovered a mechanism that elicits that very strong reaction.” Though researchers have used CpG to enhance immune responses, it was unknown which receptor the immune cells used to actually grab the DNA and internalise it for recognition. “Essentially by understanding how the immune system recognises this foreign, synthetic DNA and the rules that govern this recognition, we can exploit it so that when it gets used in a vaccine it works better,” Dr Caminschi said.

This research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal.

Although this research is promising, vaccine effectiveness has been linked to a number of different things though.

As we have recently reported vaccine effectiveness could actually be related to a variety of things, such as lack of sleep.  New research shows that good sleep is intimately tied to immune system regulation, therefore vaccine effectiveness. So in other words, our bodies are programed in such a way that it is imperative that we sleep well, even to the point that our body is able to fight off diseases, viruses, etc.  So, get plenty of rest if you want to ensure your vaccines are working at their best.

Another new investigation shows that as much as ¾ of the vaccinations health providers are administering could possibly be ineffective due to improper storage methods.  The storage problem could potentially lead to less effective vaccines, because of the varying temperatures, expired vaccinations, etc.  Therefore, if providers were more diligent in storage methods, perhaps vaccine effectiveness would also improve.


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