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Immunological memory ≠ protective immunity


Zinkernagel, Rolf M (2012). Immunological memory ≠ protective immunity. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 69(10):1635-1640.

Abstract

So-called ‘immunological memory' is, in my view, a typical example where a field of enquiry, i.e. to understand long-term protection to survive reexposure to infection, has been overtaken by ‘l'art pour l'art' of ‘basic immunology'. The aim of this critical review is to point out some key differences between academic text book-defined immunological memory and protective immunity as viewed from a co-evolutionary point of view, both from the host and the infectious agents. A key conclusion is that ‘immunological memory' of course exists, but only in particular experimental laboratory models measuring ‘quicker and better' responses after an earlier immunization. These often do correlate with, but are not the key mechanisms of, protection. Protection depends on pre-existing neutralizing antibodies or pre-activated T cells at the time of infection—as documented by the importance of maternal antibodies around birth for survival of the offspring. Importantly, both high levels of antibodies and of activated T cells are antigen driven. This conclusion has serious implications for our thinking about vaccines and maintaining a level of protection in the population to deal with old and new infectious diseases

Abstract

So-called ‘immunological memory' is, in my view, a typical example where a field of enquiry, i.e. to understand long-term protection to survive reexposure to infection, has been overtaken by ‘l'art pour l'art' of ‘basic immunology'. The aim of this critical review is to point out some key differences between academic text book-defined immunological memory and protective immunity as viewed from a co-evolutionary point of view, both from the host and the infectious agents. A key conclusion is that ‘immunological memory' of course exists, but only in particular experimental laboratory models measuring ‘quicker and better' responses after an earlier immunization. These often do correlate with, but are not the key mechanisms of, protection. Protection depends on pre-existing neutralizing antibodies or pre-activated T cells at the time of infection—as documented by the importance of maternal antibodies around birth for survival of the offspring. Importantly, both high levels of antibodies and of activated T cells are antigen driven. This conclusion has serious implications for our thinking about vaccines and maintaining a level of protection in the population to deal with old and new infectious diseases

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:1 May 2012
Deposited On:13 Dec 2018 15:47
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:45
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1420-682X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-012-0972-y
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicencespringer101007s000180120972y (Library Catalogue)
PubMed ID:22481438

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