Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Decoding vaccination: Mayo researchers reveal genetic underpinnings of response to measles vaccine

23.09.2011
Researchers at Mayo Clinic are hacking the genetic code that controls the human response to disease vaccination, and they are using this new cipher to answer many of the deep-seated questions that plague vaccinology, including why patients respond so differently to identical vaccines and how to minimize the side effects to vaccination.

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!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>