Researchers discover new way to boost the immune system

January 23rd, 2008 - 1:36 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Jan 23 (ANI): Researchers have discovered a way to enhance the immune system, by manipulating it to increase its power and protect the body from successive viral infections.

The study, led by Sam Basta, Queens professor of Microbiology and Immunology, suggests that scientists can enhance the bodys resistance and fend off successive viral infections by taking components of the virus and indirectly activating specific populations of killer T cells the bodys virus-killing cells.

The virus components are introduced through a process known as cross priming whereby virus molecules are engulfed by immune cells to activate killer T cells.

The findings might point the way towards developing new and more effective vaccines against diseases like influenza or HIV and enhance new developments in immunology.

With this mechanism in mind, we can develop better tools to make more successful and effective vaccines, said Basta.

The researchers hope to build on their findings by next studying which immune cells do a better job of protecting the body while using this mechanism.

The answer to this question is like having the Holy Grail of immunotherapy and vaccine design within our grasp, says Dr. Basta.

The study is published in Viral Immunology. (ANI)

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