Researchers from Dr. Woodland's lab at the Trudeau Institute have zeroed in on the connection between the migration of white blood cells to infected tissues.
"Defining the factors that regulate the generation of these long-lived memory cells is crucial, as these are the cells that provide protection from re-infection," said Dr. David Woodland. "Our study focuses on influenza and tuberculosis infections, but a similar study from our colleagues in Japan that was published simultaneously in The Journal of Experimental Medicine
shows this observation is relevant to other pathogens, suggesting these findings may be applicable to many infectious diseases. Hopefully, we can use this information to design vaccines that generate larger numbers of memory cells and can therefore provide better protective immunity."
The lab envisions the findings will lead to the development of additives that act to boost vaccine efficacy. This would be especially important for the elderly population that tends to be difficult to effectively vaccinate.