Every year people protect their immune system against any kind of influenza viruses. For this, they use flu vaccination that improves their body’s strength to stand against the latest flu strain in circulation. To introduce a more effective vaccination, researches understand the immunological history that can impact someone’s immune memory prompted by subsequent flu vaccination.
Researcher Turner et al. (reference?) investigated a person’s immune response to a seasonal flu-vaccination and reported data that B cell, a kind of immune cell, joins germinal centers – events that are important for a process and allow immune cells to join and diversify the pool of cells. These cells are responsible for forming an immune memory compartment.
Antibodies are formed by B cells and protect against the flu virus. Every B cell expresses a B-cell receptor (BCR) which is responsible for recognizing antigens. These antigens are virus surface proteins. When BCRs binds to an antigen for the first time, the B cell undergoes instant migration, separation, and production. After that, the cell may enter a germinal centre-like lymph node.
B cells constantly proliferate and mutate the BCR-encoding gene in a germinal centre. This entire process is known as hypermutation that produces a lineage of associated cells that have different capacities to bind to antigen recognized by BCR. These cells bind that antigen and the winner survives while completing just one round of affinity maturation. The survivors can either keep maturing or leave the germinal centre. Survivors that leave can either become long-lived plasma to reside in the born marrow and release antibodies in the blood or they become long-lived memory B cells that persist in the blood and tissues to detect antigen again and quickly increase anti-body secreting cells- plasmablasts.
The vaccines should induce B cells that contribute to germinal centres to produce the above-mentioned long-lived memory B cells. Sadly, it has not been analysed earlier in humans.
The virus mutates very fast each year and therefore strains from different years can come up with many antigens. According to the research, flu-specific memory B cells produced by the exposure of flu dominate a quick plasmablast response to vaccination. However, there is no surety of that B cells dominate the germinal centre response.
Turner and his colleagues came up with the conclusion that the sole purpose of a flu vaccination remains to generate antibodies that are able to identify a wide spectrum of flu strains. These antibodies can be derived from flu-specific memory B cells that are responsible for re-entering germinal centres for producing cells that can improve cross-strain reactivity of antibodies through affinity mutation. Naïve B cells in a response to flu vaccination can only identify vaccine strains as they do not respond to other flu strains. If you need immune assays or protein assays for studying your drug or for developing any vaccine, contact us at +44 (0)7878279127.
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