Circulating TFH cells, serological memory, and tissue compartmentalization shape human influenza-specific B cell immunity

Journal: Science Translational Medicine

Published: 2018-02-14

DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan8405

Affiliations: 18

Authors: 21

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Research Highlight

A shot at understanding the flu vaccine

© Douglas Sacha/Moment/Getty

© Douglas Sacha/Moment/Getty

Immunization with the seasonal flu vaccine triggers a host of tissue- and blood-specific immune cell responses dependent on previous exposure to vaccination or virus, an Australian study has found.

The seasonal flu vaccine remains the most effective prophylaxis against the seasonal flu, yet the protection-generating cellular response to immunization has, until now, not been understood. The University of Melbourne’s Katherine Kedzierska lead a team to categorize the cellular activity underpinning flu vaccine-mediated protection.

The team found that influenza vaccination activated a cascade of cellular responses, including the induction of multiple types of B cells, which secrete antibodies and have the capacity to differentiate into memory cells to protect against recurrent infection. Immune cell activity differed between tissues and blood, and existing antibodies reduced the cellular response to vaccination.

Mechanistic studies such as this provide invaluable insights that enable the ‘rational design’ of future vaccines, where specific cells and physiological pathways are targeted to produce the maximum possible benefit.


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  1. Science Translational Medicine 10, eaan8405 (2018). doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan8405
Institutions FC
The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute), Australia 0.60
Immunology and Diabetes Unit, SVI, Australia 0.10
Alfred Hospital, Australia 0.06
Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, WHO, Australia 0.05
bioCSL, Australia 0.02
Mercy Hospital for Women, UniMelb, Australia 0.02
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UniMelb, Australia 0.02
Immunology Division, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Australia 0.02
St Vincent's Clinical School (STVCS), UNSW, Australia 0.02
Sydney Medical School (SMS), USYD, Australia 0.02
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH), USYD, Australia 0.02
Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, Australia 0.02
Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC), Alfred Health, Australia 0.01
Department of Infectious Diseases, Alfred Health, Australia 0.01
Central Clinical School (CCS), Monash University, Australia 0.01
The University of Melbourne (UniMelb), Australia 0.01

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