Triggering memory B cells directly in lungs seen as way to improve vaccines

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

June 29, 2022 -- How can the efficacy of vaccines used to protect against viral respiratory diseases such as influenza and COVID-19 be increased? The triggering of memory B cells directly in the lungs could be a promising method, according to scientists.

Currently, vaccines are administered intramuscularly and do not trigger the appearance of these cell populations. However, to better understand these cells and their involvement in the long-term immune response against respiratory infections, researchers worked with two mouse models of virus infection: influenza and SARS-CoV-2.

Their research, published in the journal Immunity, showed that about 10 weeks after inoculation of the virus and after its elimination from the body, the formation of groups of memory B cells was observed in the bronchial respiratory mucosa, allowing them to be directly in contact with any new virus entering the lungs.

Researchers see these findings as the basis for a longer-term way of improving the efficacy of influenza and COVID-19 vaccines and new research into the way vaccines are administered.

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