RESIST scientist Professor Dr. Michael Meyer-Hermann has used computer simulations to investigate how the natural formation of rare antibodies with a special ability is promoted: These so-called broadly neutralising antibodies can bind to virus components that do not change significantly.
Most components of HIV, influenza or hepatitis viruses can change rapidly. This means, that new, adapted vaccines must be used against influenza viruses every year, so that people with a weak immune system in particular can protect themselves from an influenza that is life-threatening for them. The results of Professor Meyer-Hermann’s computer simulation suggest that it is possible to promote the natural formation of broadly neutralising antibodies by injecting antibodies against dominant viral components. This provides a basis for the development of new innovative vaccines and therapies. The research results were published in the prestigious journal “Cell Reports”.
More information can be found on the homepage of Professor Meyer-Hermann’s research group “System Immunology” at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig.
The original publication “Injection of Antibodies against Immunodominant Epitopes Tunes Germinal Centers to Generate Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies” can be found here.