Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Research: How do Vaccines work for our Immune System?

How do they work?

"A vaccine contains a killed or weakened part of a germ that is responsible for infection. Because the germ has been killed or weakened before it is used to make the vaccine, it can not make the person sick. When a person receives a vaccine, the body reacts by making protective substances called "antibodies". The antibodies are the body's defenders because they help to kill off the germs that enter the body. In other words, vaccines expose people safely to germs, so that they can become protected from a disease but not come down with the disease." 

Department of Health.New York  At: (accessed on 27/4/2011)

How are they made?

"Vaccines are made in one of three ways:
  • By weakening the germ that causes the infection so that it does not cause the full disease
  • By killing the germ so that it cannot cause any symptoms
  • By extracting the parts of the germ that our immune system recognises" 

NeLi Antimicrobial Resistance Website. At: (accessed on 27/4/2011)

About the Malaria Vaccine
"Researchers characterized a large number of parasite proteins that may prove useful in the development of a human malaria vaccine. A promising method for vaccination is to sufficiently weaken these parasites such that they invade liver cells and stimulate an immune response, but don’t develop further. This can be achieved by genetically inactivating individual parasite genes that are active during the parasite’s growth in the liver. The researchers achieved this by modifying the proteins essential for sporozoite development, which their study identified. Collaborators had previously shown how to successfully vaccinate mice using a rodent malaria which had one of these liver stage genes removed, specifically p36p."

Microbiology Bytes: The latest News about microbiology At:  (accessed on 27/4/2011)

Some Statistics

According to the board below, most Malaria incidents are found in Africa and specifically around the equator where the high temperatures allow the production of more mosquitos which carry the disease. As for the mortality rates, 90% of the victims are young children.

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