Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combating food allergies with vaccine viruses

31.07.2013
Researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have succeeded in preventing food allergy against chicken protein using a modified vaccine virus.

The viruses serve a dual function: They transfer genetic information of the allergen into the target cell of the immune system and they have an inherent immunomodulatory effect. The research results have been published in the online edition of the journal Allergy of 30 July 2013 (DOI 10.1111/all.12192)


Inflammation of intestinal mucosa in allergic mice (on the left; e.g. thickened basal layer) as compared to MVA-OVA-vaccinated mice with unimpaired intestinal mucosa (on the right side).
Paul-Ehrlich-Institut

Food allergies are on the increase in all industrialised countries, affecting around five per cent of all children and four per cent of all adults. Allergen avoidance is currently the only established treatment of choice. Specific immunotherapy using allergen extracts, which is common in the treatment of pollen allergies, has not yet been established for food allergies. Moreover, there is an inherent risk of serious adverse reactions including anaphylactic shock.

Researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have therefore taken a completely novel approach towards immunotherapy of food allergy, which is based on modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA). MVA is a modified vaccine virus which has been found to be safe in several clinical trials in infection medicine. MVA facilitates transfer of the genetic information of the allergen to antigen presenting cells of the body. Cells infected with the virus begin to produce the allergen and present it to the immune system. Unlike the established immunotherapy of pollen or house dust mite allergy where allergen extracts are applied directly, the new method ascertains that the immune system does not come into contact with the allergen before allergen fragments are presented on the surface of antigen presenting cells. Serious allergic reactions as in the case of direct allergen uptake via food consumption can be ruled out.

Researchers in the Allergology and Virology Divisions at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut had already been able to show that "vaccination" of mice with MVA carrying the gene for the chicken protein ovalbumin (MVA-OVA) prevented the usually considerable increase in allergy inducing IgE antibodies in response to exposure to the allergen [1].

Which clinical significance do these changes imply? To establish this, Dr Masako Toda, head of the Temporary Research Group "Experimental Allergy Models" at the PEI, and her co-workers developed a model of intestinal food allergy in mice. Sensitisation of mice to ovalbumin led to clinical symptoms such as diarrhoea, loss of bodyweight, and drop of body temperature. The researchers of the PEI were able to show that allergic symptoms could be prevented by vaccination with MVA-OVA and, what’s more, in collaboration with researchers of Tokyo University, Japan, they were able to establish that the vaccination could prevent inflammatory changes of the intestinal mucosa (see figure).

When examining the local immune response in the small intestine, the researchers were also able to prove – based on the modified release of the cytokines (inhibition of interleukin-4 and stimulation of interferon-gamma release) – that the adverse (allergic) response of TH2 helper cells was inhibited and the desired TH1 helper cell response was stimulated. ""This is the very result we wish to see in treating an allergy: the suppression of IgE and an increase in TH1 response"", Dr Stephan Scheurer explained the success of this approach. Dr Scheurer is the head of the Section "Recombinant Allergen Therapeutics" at the PEI.

The next steps to be taken by the researchers of the PEI will be to test how long this allergy protection will last and whether the therapy approach can be used to treat fully established allergies. ""If this is possible for our model allergen ovalbumin, we assume that the model can also be transferred to other food allergens"", explained Dr Scheurer.

Background

An allergy involves an excessive TH2 helper cell response. TH2 helper cells are a specialised group of lymphocytes of the immune system. During an allergic reaction, these cells respond to usually harmless antigens such as pollen, but also antigens in peanuts, hen's eggs, etc. Specific immunotherapy intends to re-establish the immune balance in favour of a TH1 helper response. In the above-described novel approach of immunotherapy, the modified virus Ankara not only serves as a transport vehicle of genetic information of the allergen but is also an effective immune modulator, since it creates a strong TH1 helper cell response against antigens. This process involves induction of allergen specific IgG2a antibodies, which can act as blocking antibodies, as well as cytokines (interferon-gamma) which counteract allergic reactions. This helps to restore a normal immune response.

Literature

[1] Albrecht M, Suezer Y, Staib C, Sutter G, Vieths S, Reese G (2008): Vaccination with a Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara-based vaccine protects mice from allergic sensitization. J Gene Med 10: 1324-1333. Online-Abstract.

Original publication

Bohnen C, Wangorsch A, Schülke S, Nakajima-Adachi H, Hachimura S, Burggraf M, Süzer Y, Schwantes A, Sutter G, Waibler Z, Reese G, Toda M, Scheurer S, Vieths S (2013): Vaccination with recombinant modified vaccinia virus1 Ankara prevents the onset of intestinal allergy in mice.

Allergy Jul 30 [Epub ahead of print].

Weitere Informationen:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/all.12192/abstract
- Publications Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18816482?ordinalpos=60&itool=EntrezSystem2.
PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Abstract of J Gene Med-Paper
http://www.pei.de/EN/information/journalists-press/press-releases/2013/03-combating-food-allergies-with-vaccine-viruses.html

Press release on PEI-Website

Dr. Susanne Stöcker | idw
Further information:
http://www.pei.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland

nachricht Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>