来自卡蒂夫大学的Dr. Ian Humphreys介绍说它们的研究表明中性粒细胞会分泌一种名为TRAIL的蛋白杀死被病毒感染的细胞以保证机体器官的安全。Dr. Ian Humphreys等人据此开发了这种新型疫苗，通过将中性粒细胞靶向输送至病毒感染部位来达到治疗效果。今后这一疫苗也可能用于艾滋病、肝炎病毒等病毒的治疗。
An experimental vaccine using a novel defense mechanism may eventually help protect people from a common virus that affects more than half of the U.S. population and causes congenital birth defects in some cases.
Using the most common form of white blood cell, called neutrophils, scientists from Cardiff University have found a way to quell cytomegalovirus, or CMV.
CMV is a common infection that is part of the herpesvirus group, which includes the herpes simplex viruses, the chickenpox-causing varicella zoster virus and the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes infectious mononucleosis, also known as mono. About 50% to 80% of U.S. adults are infected with CMV by the time they are 40 years old.
Though usually harmless, congenital CMV can cause serious disease in babies who were infected with the virus before birth. About 1 in 150 children in the U.S. are born with congenital CMV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These babies are born with permanent disabilities, including blindness, deafness and brain damage.
Neutrophils have been known to be important in killing bacterial infections, and recently, some scientists have been studying the use of these white blood cells in fighting viral infections.
“Our study shows that neutrophils protect our organs from CMV by producing a protein called TRAIL that can directly kill virus-infected cells,” researcher Dr. Ian Humphreys, from Cardiff University School of Medicine, said in a statement. “Our body attracts the neutrophils to where the virus is replicating by producing the protein IL-22, which acts as a homing signal.”
Humphreys and his colleagues are developing a vaccine that ideally would send antiviral neutrophils to the first site of infection. The findings may also have implications for other destructive viruses such as flu, hepatitis and potentially HIV.
The research–which was conducted in collaboration with The Wellcome Trust, Sanger Institute, University of Oxford and La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in California–appears in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.