Researchers have demonstrated a technique that has the potential to reduce the toxicity of vaccines and to make smaller doses more effective, according to a study published in PLoS Pathogens.
Developing vaccines is fraught with challenges, particularly because many candidates carry a high risk of toxic side effects. For example, twenty percent of people immunized against smallpox will suffer side effects.
Wilfred Jefferies, a researcher at the University of British Columbia and senior author of the study, and his colleagues have shown that boosting the production of TAP, an immune system component, can make smaller doses of vaccines more effective. Smaller vaccine doses would mean reduced side effects and the capacity to immunize more people with less material. “As the approach we have discovered appears to augment immune responses for different pathogens and is not limited to the genetics of the host we vaccinate, this new approach could have far reaching benefits in the field of vaccines,” Jefferies said.
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