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Concept: Immunology


Older adults are less able to produce a protective antibody response to vaccinations. One factor that contributes to this is immune ageing. Here we examined whether diurnal variations in immune responses might extend to the antibody response to vaccination.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Vaccination, Immunology, Immunity


Subunit vaccines have been investigated in over 1000 clinical trials of cancer immunotherapy, but have shown limited efficacy. Nanovaccines may improve efficacy but have rarely been clinically translated. By conjugating molecular vaccines with Evans blue (EB) into albumin-binding vaccines (AlbiVax), here we develop clinically promising albumin/AlbiVax nanocomplexes that self-assemble in vivo from AlbiVax and endogenous albumin for efficient vaccine delivery and potent cancer immunotherapy. PET pharmacoimaging, super-resolution microscopies, and flow cytometry reveal almost 100-fold more efficient co-delivery of CpG and antigens (Ags) to lymph nodes (LNs) by albumin/AlbiVax than benchmark incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (IFA). Albumin/AlbiVax elicits ~10 times more frequent peripheral antigen-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes with immune memory than IFA-emulsifying vaccines. Albumin/AlbiVax specifically inhibits progression of established primary or metastatic EG7.OVA, B16F10, and MC38 tumors; combination with anti-PD-1 and/or Abraxane further potentiates immunotherapy and eradicates most MC38 tumors. Albumin/AlbiVax nanocomplexes are thus a robust platform for combination cancer immunotherapy.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Cancer, Lymph node, Vaccine, Immunology, Cytotoxic T cell, Immunologic adjuvant


Polypeptide vaccines effectively activate human T cells but suffer from poor biological stability, which confines both transport logistics and in vivo therapeutic activity. Synthetic biology has the potential to address these limitations through the generation of highly stable antigenic “mimics” using subunits that do not exist in the natural world. We developed a platform based on D-amino acid combinatorial chemistry and used this platform to reverse engineer a fully artificial CD8+ T cell agonist that mirrored the immunogenicity profile of a native epitope blueprint from influenza virus. This nonnatural peptide was highly stable in human serum and gastric acid, reflecting an intrinsic resistance to physical and enzymatic degradation. In vitro, the synthetic agonist stimulated and expanded an archetypal repertoire of polyfunctional human influenza virus-specific CD8+ T cells. In vivo, specific responses were elicited in naive humanized mice by subcutaneous vaccination, conferring protection from subsequent lethal influenza challenge. Moreover, the synthetic agonist was immunogenic after oral administration. This proof-of-concept study highlights the power of synthetic biology to expand the horizons of vaccine design and therapeutic delivery.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Amino acid, Vaccine, Vaccination, Immunology, Influenza, Influenza vaccine


Human noroviruses (NoVs) are the primary cause of acute gastroenteritis and are characterized by antigenic variation between genogroups and genotypes and antigenic drift of strains within the predominant GII.4 genotype. In the context of this diversity, an effective NoV vaccine must elicit broadly protective immunity. We used an antibody (Ab) binding blockade assay to measure the potential cross-strain protection provided by a multivalent NoV virus-like particle (VLP) candidate vaccine in human volunteers.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Evolution, Vaccine, Immunology, Diarrhea, Gastroenteritis, Norovirus


To the Editor: Changing patterns of allergic sensitization to pollens have been noted around the world among schoolchildren. We report one associated with unusual winter allergic symptoms in Switzerland. Our group has gathered information on allergic symptoms and serologic findings among 15-year-olds attending school in Grabs, a village in eastern Switzerland,(1) from 1983 through 2007.(2) We measured IgE antibodies to 103 molecular allergens (using ImmunoCAP ISAC) in serum samples obtained from 54 students in 1986 and from 46 students in 2006.(3) In 2010, we retested 12 of the former students (then 39 years old) who in 1986 had had positive . . .

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Asthma, Immunology, Immunoglobulin E, Allergy, Ragweed, October 12


Insects counter infection with innate immune responses that rely on cells called hemocytes. Hemocytes exist in association with the insect’s open circulatory system and this mode of existence has likely influenced the organization and control of anti-pathogen immune responses. Previous studies reported that pathogens in the mosquito body cavity (hemocoel) accumulate on the surface of the heart. Using novel cell staining, microdissection and intravital imaging techniques, we investigated the mechanism of pathogen accumulation in the pericardium of the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, and discovered a novel insect immune tissue, herein named periostial hemocytes, that sequesters pathogens as they flow with the hemolymph. Specifically, we show that there are two types of endocytic cells that flank the heart: periostial hemocytes and pericardial cells. Resident periostial hemocytes engage in the rapid phagocytosis of pathogens, and during the course of a bacterial or Plasmodium infection, circulating hemocytes migrate to the periostial regions where they bind the cardiac musculature and each other, and continue the phagocytosis of invaders. Periostial hemocyte aggregation occurs in a time- and infection dose-dependent manner, and once this immune process is triggered, the number of periostial hemocytes remains elevated for the lifetime of the mosquito. Finally, the soluble immune elicitors peptidoglycan and β-1,3-glucan also induce periostial hemocyte aggregation, indicating that this is a generalized and basal immune response that is induced by diverse immune stimuli. These data describe a novel insect cellular immune response that fundamentally relies on the physiological interaction between the insect circulatory and immune systems.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Blood, Malaria, Innate immune system, Heart, Immunology, Humoral immunity


NLRs (nucleotide-binding domain leucine-rich-repeat-containing receptors; NOD-like receptors) are a class of pattern recognition receptor (PRR) that respond to host perturbation from either infectious agents or cellular stress. The function of most NLR family members has not been characterized and their role in instructing adaptive immune responses remains unclear. NLRP10 (also known as PYNOD, NALP10, PAN5 and NOD8) is the only NLR lacking the putative ligand-binding leucine-rich-repeat domain, and has been postulated to be a negative regulator of other NLR members, including NLRP3 (refs 4-6). We did not find evidence that NLRP10 functions through an inflammasome to regulate caspase-1 activity nor that it regulates other inflammasomes. Instead, Nlrp10(-/-) mice had a profound defect in helper T-cell-driven immune responses to a diverse array of adjuvants, including lipopolysaccharide, aluminium hydroxide and complete Freund’s adjuvant. Adaptive immunity was impaired in the absence of NLRP10 because of a dendritic cell (DC) intrinsic defect in emigration from inflamed tissues, whereas upregulation of DC costimulatory molecules and chemotaxis to CCR7-dependent and -independent ligands remained intact. The loss of antigen transport to the draining lymph nodes by a subset of migratory DCs resulted in an almost absolute loss in naive CD4(+) T-cell priming, highlighting the critical link between diverse innate immune stimulation, NLRP10 activity and the immune function of mature DCs.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Innate immune system, Immunology, Humoral immunity, Adaptive immune system, Dendritic cell, Immunologic adjuvant


For many years, pathogenetic concepts and the results of clinical trials supported the view that anti-IgE treatment is specifically effective in allergic asthma. However, there is now growing clinical and mechanistic evidence suggesting that treatment with the anti-IgE antibody omalizumab can be effective in patients with intrinsic asthma. Therefore, large and well-controlled clinical trials with anti-IgE are urgently warranted in patients with intrinsic asthma. In addition, there is a need to find new biomarkers which can identify patients with asthma who respond to anti-IgE treatment.

Concepts: Immune system, Clinical trial, Asthma, Immunology, Immunoglobulin E, Allergy, Atopy, Hygiene hypothesis


Graft-versus-host disease is one of the major transplant-related complications in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Continued efforts have been made to prevent the occurrence of severe graft-versus-host disease by eliminating or suppressing donor-derived effector T cells. Conventional immunosuppression does not adequately prevent graft-versus-host disease, especially in mismatched transplants. Unfortunately, elimination of donor-derived T cells impairs stem cell engraftment, and delays immunologic reconstitution, rendering the recipient susceptible to post-transplant infections and disease relapse, with potentially lethal consequences. In this review, we discuss the role of dynamic immune regulation in controlling graft-versus-host disease, and how cell-based therapies are being developed using regulatory T cells and other tolerogenic cells for the prevention and treatment of graft-versus-host disease. In addition, advances in the design of cytoreductive conditioning regimens to selectively target graft-versus-host disease-inducing donor-derived T cells that have improved the safety of allogeneic stem cell transplantation are reviewed. Finally, we discuss advances in our understanding of the tolerogenic facilitating cell population, a phenotypically and functionally distinct population of bone marrow-derived cells which promote hematopoietic stem cell engraftment while reducing the risk of graft-versus-host disease.

Concepts: Immune system, Immunology, Graft-versus-host disease, T helper cell, T cells, Organ transplant, Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, Hematopoietic stem cell


Parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5), formerly known as simian virus 5 (SV5), is a paramyxovirus often referred to as canine parainfluenza virus (CPI) in the veterinary field. PIV5 is thought to be a contributing factor to kennel cough. Kennel cough vaccines containing live PIV5 have been used in dogs for many decades. PIV5 is not known to cause any diseases in humans or other animals. PIV5 has been used as a vector for vaccine development for humans and animals. One critical question concerning the use of PIV5 as a vector is whether prior exposure to PIV5 would prevent the use of PIV5-based vaccines. In this work, we have examined immunogenicity of a recombinant PIV5 expressing hemagglutinin (HA) of influenza A virus subtype 3 (rPIV5-H3) in dogs that were immunized against PIV5. We found that vaccination of the dogs containing neutralizing antibodies against PIV5 with rPIV5-H3 generated immunity against influenza A virus, indicting that PIV5-based vaccine is immunogenic in dogs with prior exposure. Furthermore, we have examined exposure of PIV5 in human populations. We have detected neutralizing antibody (nAb) against PIV5 in 13 out of 45 human serum samples (about 29 percent). The nAb titers in humans were lower than that in vaccinated dogs, suggesting that nAb in humans is unlikely to prevent PIV5 from being an efficacious vector in humans.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Microbiology, Vaccine, Vaccination, Immunology, Influenza, Influenza vaccine