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 Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University

nachricht Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>