A new paper from the University of Alabama highlights the importance of Memory B cells in the lungs when it comes to influenza (flu) infections.
Getting the flu shot every autumn/winter is an important way to protect yourself from annoying, and sometimes deadly, infections. However, seasonal flu vaccines are often not even 50% effective at protecting the population from catching the bug.
A new study using a mouse model of influenza has shown that memory B cells in the lungs of mice are important when flighting off the flu. These cells quickly flock to the lungs following an initial infection, and then work fast to produce antibodies that will fight the flu after a second infection has occurred.
Based on their results, in order to design and manufacture a (more) effective seasonal vaccine against the flu, scientists need to focus more on the lungs and respiratory tract for antigen delivery.
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University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2018, December 5). Memory B cells in the lung may be important for more effective influenza vaccinations: Up to now, it has not been clear if these cells might be useful to combat influenza infections or even if they exist at all. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 7, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181205142705.htm