Professor Geert Leroux-Roels, Centre for Vaccinology, Ghent University and Hospital, Belgium and colleagues report on an “antigen sparing adjuvant strategy”, which, by combining the vaccine with an oil-in-water emulsion “adjuvant”, allows the body to produce up to six times as many bird influenza virus neutralising antibodies as it would with an non-adjuvanted vaccine with the same dose.
The bird flu strain H5N1 is widely regarded as the probable cause of the next global influenza pandemic. This virus contains a H5 haemagglutinin antigen subtype, which generally produces a poor immunogenic response in humans and to which most of the world population is immunologically naïve. As a result, the one-dose schedule routinely used for seasonal “regular” influenza vaccines is unlikely to be sufficient to give immunity. The authors say: “Clearly, new formulations that require less antigen per dose are needed. The use of adjuvant to improve immunogenicity is a crucial antigen-sparing strategy.”
The researchers did a study of eight groups of 50 volunteers aged 18-60 years, and studied four antigen doses (3.8µg, 7.5µg, 15µg, 30µg haemagglutinin) given with or without the oil-water adjuvant. Blood samples were then collected to analyse the immune response, and the results showed that the adjuvanted formulations were significantly more immunogenic than the non-adjuvanted formulations at all doses. All eight vaccine formulations had good safety profiles, although the adjuvanted vaccines produced more injection-site symptoms and general symptoms (most of which were mild to moderate and transient) than the non-adjuvanted vaccines.
The authors say that the ability of the 3.8µg dose of the adjuvanted vaccine to induce cross-immunity against the clade two* H5N1 Indonesia strain in more than the three-quarters of individuals with neutralising titres which are six times higher than the non-adjuvanted formulation “represents significant antigen sparing that could increase the number of recipients of the pandemic influenza vaccine.”
They conclude: “The cross-clade neutralising antibody responses recorded imply that such a vaccine could be deployed before pandemic outbreak, which is an important mitigation strategy proposed for pandemic influenza.”
In an accompanying Comment, Dr Suryaprakash Sambhara, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA and Dr Gregory Poland, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Minnesota, USA, say: “Leroux-Roels and colleagues’ study is the first to show significant antigen dose-sparing, high levels of immunogenicity in association with a novel adjuvant, and the induction of cross-clade immunity against A/H5N1 viruses. Their study lends support for considering a strategy of immunising some groups with prepandemic vaccines for preparedness in the event of a pandemic from an H5N1 virus. This vaccine appears to be an important step forward in our ability to protect against the pandemic threat posed by highly pathogenic influenza A/H5N1 viruses.”
Tony Kirby | alfa
Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
25.09.2017 | Institut Pasteur
MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University
Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
26.09.2017 | Life Sciences
26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.09.2017 | Information Technology