Led by Gregory Poland, M.D., researchers in Mayo's Vaccine Research Group are publishing results of two genetic studies that identify mutations linked to immune response to the measles vaccine. They appear in the journal Vaccine.
"We are trying to understand, to the maximum extent possible, how a person's individual genetic makeup affects response to vaccination," says Dr. Poland.
These and similar studies will likely allow physicians to prescribe appropriate doses and timing of vaccines based on routine genetic screening blood tests in the near future. Longer-reaching implications of the vaccine group's work include the development of more effective vaccines and, perhaps someday, the ability to construct personalized vaccines.
"Vaccination is the single most important and far-reaching practice in medicine. By the time a child enters school in the United States, they have received upwards of 20 shots," says Dr. Poland. "In no other field of medicine do we do exactly the same thing to everyone — and we do it everywhere in the world."
Doctors and epidemiologists have long been puzzled about the genetic underpinnings to the fact that up to 10 percent of recipients fail to respond to the first dose of the measles vaccine, while another 10 percent generate extremely high levels of measles antibodies. The remaining 80 percent fall somewhere in the middle.
"We have found that two doses of the vaccine seem to be sufficient to immunize the vast majority of the population against measles, so we do it to everybody even though it's not technically necessary," says Dr. Poland. "If we could tell, based on a genetic test of every patient, who would need one dose and who might need two or three, imagine the implications not only for measles vaccines, but for every vaccine."
Millions of dollars could be saved by avoiding additional and unnecessary vaccine doses, not to mention the pain and suffering that could be spared by administering to young children the minimum number of shots necessary.
Early results published in Vaccine contain an exhaustive statistical analysis of the genes coding for the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) system and other known cytokine/cytokine receptor genes. Dr. Poland's team was the first to single out all DNA base-pair mutations in these genes that have a measurable effect on the immune system's response to measles vaccination.
Any mutations found to play a role in the immune system response to the measles vaccine were identified and cataloged with the study subject's corresponding race.
Called SNPs (pronounced "snips"), these tiny genetic mutations represent the smallest possible change to a person's genetic code and offer clues to explaining why children of some racial and ethnic groups respond better to vaccination than other groups.
Ultimately, Dr. Poland and his team seek to assemble a comprehensive matrix of all the genetic mutations that affect immune response to vaccination on all of the roughly 30,000 human protein-coding genes. Such a library could direct physicians toward predicting exactly how individuals will respond to different vaccines.
"Imagine setting up an array of dominoes the size of a small city, and then depending on where you knock one over, predicting how the rest will fall," says Dr. Poland. "That is what we are trying to do in understanding how single genes, and networks of genes, control and determine our immune responses to vaccines — and, hence, whether we are protected or not."
Funding for these studies comes from the National Institutes of Health
Robert Jacobson, M.D., Inna Ovsyannikova, Ph.D., Robert Vierkant, V. Shane Pankratz, Ph.D. and Dr. Poland, all of Mayo Clinic, authored the study Human Leukocyte Antigen Associations with Humoral and Cellular Immunity Following a Second Dose of Measles-Containing Vaccine: Persistence, Dampening, and Extinction of Associations Found After a First Dose. Iana Haralambieva, M.D., Ph.D., Richard Kennedy, Ph.D., Dr. Jacobson, Dr. Ovsyannikova, Vierkant, Dr. Pankratz, and Dr. Poland, all of Mayo Clinic, authored the study Associations between Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Haplotypes in Cytokine and Cytokine Receptor Genes and Immunity to Measles Vaccination.
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about and www.mayoclinic.org/news.
Robert Nellis | EurekAlert!
Make way for the mini flying machines
21.03.2018 | American Chemical Society
New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in
21.03.2018 | American Chemical Society
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
21.03.2018 | Life Sciences
21.03.2018 | Life Sciences
21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy