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A living history of immunology

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196982 Year: Pages: 62 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-698-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Allergy and Immunology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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In the highly competitive world of biomedical science, often the rush to publish and to be recognized as "first" with a new discovery, concept or method, is lost in the hurly-burly of the moment, as "the maddening crowd" moves on to the next "new thing". One of the great things about immunology today is that it has only become mature as a science within the last half-century, and especially within the past 35 years as a consequence of the revolution of molecular immunology, which has taken place only since 1980. Consequently, most of those who have contributed to our new understanding of how the immune system functions are still alive and well, and still contributing. Thus, "A Living History of Immunology" collates many stories from the investigators who actually performed the experiments that have established the frontiers of immunology. Accordingly, this volume combats "revisionist science", by those who want to alter history by telling the stories a different way than actually happened. In this regard, one of the good things about science vs. other disciplines is that we have the written record of what was done, when it was done and by whom. Even so, we do not have the complete story or narrative of how and why experiments were done, and what made the differences that led to success. This volume captures and chronicles some of these stories from the past fifty years in immunology.

The Evolution and Development of the Antibody Repertoire

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195497 Year: Pages: 122 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-549-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Allergy and Immunology --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Although at first glance mechanisms used to create the variable domains of immunoglobulin appear to be designed to generate diversity at random, closer inspection reveals striking evolutionary constraints on the sequence and structure of these antigen receptors, suggesting that natural selection is operating to create a repertoire that anticipates or is biased towards recognition of specific antigenic properties. This Research Topics issue will be devoted to an examination of the evolution of antigen receptor sequence at the germline level, an evaluation of the repertoire in B cells from fish, pigs and human, an introduction into bioinformatics approaches to the evaluation and analysis of the repertoire as ascertained by high throughput sequencing, and a discussion of how study of the normal repertoire informs the construction or selection of in vitro antibodies for applied purposes.

Immune responses to AAV vectors, from bench to bedside

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195008 Year: Pages: 95 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-500-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Allergy and Immunology --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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The recent wave of clinical studies demonstrating long-term therapeutic efficacy highlights the enormous potential of gene therapy as an approach to the treatment of inherited disorders and cancer. While in recent years lentiviral vectors have dominated the field of ex vivo gene therapy in man, adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have become the platform of choice for the in vivo gene delivery, both local and systemic.Despite the achievements in the clinic however, a number of hurdles remain to be overcome in gene therapy, these include availability of scalable vector production systems, potential issues associated with insertional mutagenesis, and concerns related to immunogenicity of gene therapeutics. For AAV vectors, clinical trials showed that immunity directed against the vector could either prevent transduction of a target tissue or limit the duration of therapeutic efficacy. Initial observations in the context of a gene therapy trial for hemophilia spurred over a decade efforts by gene therapists and immunologists to understand the mechanism and identify factors that contribute to AAV’s immunogenicity, including the prevalence of B cell and T cell immunity to wild type AAV in humans and the interaction of AAV vectors with the innate and adaptive immune system. Despite a number of important contributions in particular in the more recent past, our knowledge on the immunology of gene transfer is still rudimental; this is partly due to the fact that the basic understanding of the complex balance between tolerance and immunity to an antigen, key aspect of gene transfer with AAV, keeps evolving rapidly. However, continuing work towards a better definition of the interaction of viral vectors with the immune system has led to significant advances in the knowledge of the factors influencing the outcome of gene transfer, such as the vector dose, the immune privilege of certain tissues, and the induction of tolerance to an antigen. A better understanding of the structure-function relationship of the viral capsid has boosted the development of novel immune-escape vector variants. In addition, novel immunomodulatory strategies were established to prevent or reduce anti-capsid immunity have been developed and are being tested in preclinical models and in clinical trials. Together, these advances are bringing us closer to the goal of achieving safe and sustained therapeutic gene transfer in humans. In this research topic, a collection of Original Research and Review Articles highlights critical aspects of the interaction between gene AAV vectors and the immune system, discussing how these interactions can be either detrimental or constitute an advantage, depending on the context of gene transfer, and providing tools and resources to better understand the issue of immunogenicity of AAV vectors in gene transfer.

Paradigm changes are required in HIV vaccine research

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197279 Year: Pages: 74 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-727-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Allergy and Immunology --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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In his 1962 book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", Thomas Kuhn famously argued that researchers in every field of scientific enquiry always operate under a set of presuppositions known as paradigms that are rarely explicitly stated. In the field of HIV vaccine research, several prevailing paradigms led scientists for many years to pursue unfruitful lines of investigations that impeded significant progress. The uncritical acceptance of reigning paradigms makes scientists reluctant to abandon their mistaken assumptions even when they obtain results that are not consistent with the paradigms. The following five paradigms which disregard the degeneracy of the immune system were particularly harmful. 1) There is a primary and intrinsic epitope specific for each B cell receptor and for the corresponding monoclonal antibody.In reality, there is no single, intrinsic or "real" epitope for any antibody but only a diverse group of potential ligands. 2) Reactions with monoclonal antibodies are more specific than the combined reactivity of polyclonal antibodies. In reality, a polyclonal antiserum has greater specificity for a multiepitopic protein because different antibodies in the antiserum recognize separate epitopes on the same protein, giving rise to an additive specificity effect. By focusing vaccine design on single epitope-Mab pairs, the beneficial neutralizing synergy that occurs with polyclonal antibody responses is overlooked. 3) The HIV epitope identified by solving the crystallographic structure of a broadly neutralizing Mab – HIV Env complex should be able, when used as immunogen, to elicit antibodies endowed with the same neutralizing capacity as the Mab. Since every anti HIV bnMab is polyspecific, the single epitope identified in the complex is not necessarily the one that elicited the bnMab. Since hypermutated Mabs used in crystallographic studies differ from their germline-like receptor version present before somatic hypermutation, the identified epitope will not be an effective vaccine immunogen. 4) Effective vaccine immunogenicity can be predicted from the antigenic binding capacity of viral epitopes. Most fragments of a viral antigen can induce antibodies that react with the immunogen, but this is irrelevant for vaccination since these antibodies rarely recognize the cognate, intact antigen and even more rarely neutralize the infectivity of the viral pathogen that harbors the antigen. 5) The rational design of vaccine immunogens using reverse vaccinology is superior to the trial-and-error screening of vaccine candidates able to induce protective immunity. One epitope can be designed to increase its structural complementarity to one particular bnMab, but such antigen design is only masquerading as immunogen design because it is assumed that antigenic reactivity necessarily entails the immunogenic capacity to elicit neutralizing antibodies. When HIV Env epitopes, engineered to react with a bnMab are used to select from human donors rare memory B cells secreting bnAbs, this represents antigen design and not immunogen design. The aim of this Research Topic is to replace previous misleading paradigms by novel ones that better fit our current understanding of immunological specificity and will help HIV vaccine development.

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