How can we make vaccines effective for the entire population?
Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Portugal
Vaccines are among the therapies with the greatest impact on human health, reducing mortality from infectious diseases. Although they are generally highly effective, they are less so in some population groups, such as the elderly. The reason for this is that the immune system loses its ability to respond to threats over time. An example of this is the flu vaccine, for which there are still high mortality and morbidity rates among this age group.
This project brings together experts in vaccines, nanoparticles and bioinformatics to explore a new strategy aimed at boosting the immune system's reaction so that vaccines do not lose their effectiveness. To this end, they will start from biological knowledge on the germinal centre and adjuvants and use nanoparticles to administer antigens and immunomodulatory compounds. This is a novel method of influencing antibody production that will also lead the researchers to a better understanding of molecular mechanisms that can help to increase vaccine efficacy.
Harnessing germinal centre regulation for improved vaccines