Immunity Research: RGCB ties up with US Clinic
By Reema Narendran | Published: 17th June 2013 12:10 PM |
The Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), here, along with Mayo Clinic, US, will take the initiative in studying fever vaccines, in a collaboration project funded by the National Institute of Health, US, and the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
Partnering with Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, US, the RGCB aims to compare and study the response and resistence of vaccinated and non-vaccinated population to influenza viruses.
“While a good chunk of the population is infected every year, we do not have a large-scale vaccination for fever in the state. Hence the pre-existing immunity is almost exclusively acquired through natural infections. Our aim is to compare this with vaccine-acquired immunity,” said RGCB director Dr M Radhakrishna Pillai.
The collaborative group, to be headed by Dr Richard Kennedy of Mayo Clinic and Dr Pillai of the RGCB, will primarily focus on H1N1 vaccine. “People seem to be responding in different ways to H1N1 infection. We would like to see if there is a genetic predisposition to get infected with H1N1 virus. And also, if their immune response has a genetic problem,” said Dr Pillai.
This study focuses, not just on the virus or the vaccine, but on the interaction of a number of components and also how these contribute to immune response and whether vaccines and natural immunity gained against one strain of influenza virus will give immunity in the next wave of disease outbreak.
Influenza viruses are known to mutate very fast, said Dr Pillai.
The RGCB has already identified cohorts, or group of individuals, that would be part of the study.
The cohorts comprise mainly medical professionals including doctors, nurses and technicians - both already vaccinated and non-vaccinated - who have agreed to be part of the study.