Vaccine could boost local immune response to STIs

STIs could be prevented by the use of vaccines that trigger immune reactions in the female genital tract, a study by US researchers suggests.

Herpes simplex: cells infected (Photograph: SPL)
Herpes simplex: cells infected (Photograph: SPL)

Dr Zili Li and colleagues from the University of Maryland examined the role of the immunoglobulin (Ig) subclass IgG.

IgG is one of the major immunoglobulin subclasses in the mucosal secretions of the female genital tract. But previous studies have revealed little about how it enters the genital tract and the role it plays in preventing STIs, the researchers said.

Dr Li and colleagues found that IgG binds to the FcRn receptor, which is expressed in human female genital tract epithelial cells.

They showed that, by binding to IgG in a pH-dependent manner, FcRn controls the movement of IgG across the lining of the genital tract.

The researchers used herpes simplex infection in cell samples to study this FcRn-mediated transport. They found it was a mechanism by which IgG can act locally in the female genital tract in immune surveillance and in defence against STIs.

Dr Li and his team said their results suggest that vaccines that elicit high levels of broadly neutralising IgG antibodies may provide effective protection against mucosal infection and transmission.

'Further efforts to understand how human IgG antibodies mediate this protection could yield insights into mucosal immunity and facilitate the development of safe and effective mucosal vaccines against sexually transmitted diseases,' they said.

'Furthermore, the discovery of FcRn-mediated IgG transport in the genital tract may provide the basis for a passive immuno-prophylaxis approach for preventing mucosal transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted pathogens.'

GP Online recommends

PNAS Online 2011

Read more

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Ellie Mein provides advice for GPs on reacting information...

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages are unlikely to improve as a result of Brexit being delayed healthcare...

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

The GMC is introducing new measures to reduce the number of full investigations in...

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

The RCGP has revoked the honorary title it awarded the Sultan of Brunei following...

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Specialist accountant Laurence Slavin highlights the financial issues that practices...

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Measures to cut the number of CCGs in England by more than three quarters could be...