A group of researchers from the University of Calgary claim that they have found out how a common immune booster or adjuvant, used in almost all vaccines, works.
The adjuvant, alum, is used in almost all the vaccines and is also used in pickling. Alum induces the antibody responses, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the vaccine. However researchers so far have struggled to understand how exactly it works.
According to the researchers at the University of Calgary, alum increases the antibody production by interacting with a group of immune cells known as dendritic cells which in turn activate T-cells that control antibody production.
"Understanding alum properties will help other vaccines because we are one step deeper into the mechanistic insight of adjuvants, which are essential for human vaccines to work", Snyder Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation's Yan Shi said.
The details are published in the March 13 edition of Nature Medicine.