McMaster study could lead to vaccinations for herpes, colds and cancer

A major discovery at McMaster University could help develop vaccines for viruses like herpes, a common cold or even cancer.

The study represents a breakthrough in the understanding of how our immune system detects a viral infection. Co-authors, Brian Lichty and Yonghong Wan, who are professors at McMaster’s DeGroote School of Medicine say they have identified an important step in the detection of DNA viruses. According to the research, that information is crucial to create a vaccine to fight these infections.
“If the key immune system component identified in these studies is not triggered, then vaccination fails” says Lichty.

Researchers say this discovery impacts anyone infected by a virus, receiving a vaccination or fighting cancer.
“Now that we have identified this aspect of the immune system, we can work on developing methods to engage this pathway during vaccination against viruses or cancer,” says Lichty.

The study was published today in the scientific journal “Nature Immunology”.

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