US scientists make vaccine discovery

AMERICAN scientists have moved a step further in their work on vaccines.

Synthetic particles loaded with immune system molecules can be used to boost vaccines, found researchers from Duke University Medical Centre, in North Carolina.

The tiny nanoparticles mimic natural “granules” released by infection-fighting mast cells in the skin.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They carry signalling molecules to the lymph nodes – the “engine room” of the immune system – which help ensure the right immune response. Current “adjuvant” chemicals added to vaccines to make them more effective are thought to enhance immunity at the injection site rather than in the lymph nodes.

The nanoparticles were tested in vaccinations of mice with the influenza A virus.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Materials.

Related topics: