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Possible Vaccine to Prevent Premature Birth

Posted by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 12:19 PM
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Research Suggests Possible Vaccine to Prevent Premature Birth

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests it might someday be possible to create a vaccine that could protect a growing fetus from premature birth and related complications.

The problem: Because fetal tissue contains material inherited from both the mother and the father, it raises the risk that the mother's immune system may sometimes recognize the fetus as a foreign invader that must be rejected. The result: premature birth, the study authors contend.

In most cases, however, this doesn't happen and the baby is safely carried to term. But why?

A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center believe they've found the key: CD4 T cells.

The study authors explained that when a woman becomes pregnant her immune system stimulates a certain type of regulatory cell -- CD4 T cells. These cells then throw up a rejection roadblock, stopping the mother's immune system from attacking fetal tissue and paving the way for a successful pregnancy.

The researchers now believe they have a blueprint that might lead to a vaccine that could better ensure that mothers can carry their baby to term.

"Current vaccines exclusively target immune-activating T cells," Dr. Sing Sing Way, study senior author and a physician researcher in infectious diseases at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, explained in a news release from the hospital. "With the polio vaccine, for example, vaccination is designed to induce long-lasting immune-activating cells that eradicate the virus with later infection."

By contrast, Way said, a pregnancy vaccine would aim to stimulate immune-suppressing T cells to prevent the rejection of a fetus.

Way and colleagues detailed their theory in a letter published online Sept. 26 in the journal Nature.

So far, the investigators' research on a possible vaccine has been limited to work involving mice.

And though research with animals often fails to produce similar results in humans, the study authors said their efforts have yielded some potentially useful information. These insights include the finding that CD4 T cells have a so-called "memory feature" that means, once induced into action during a woman's first pregnancy, these cells tend to perform their immune system-suppression task even better during subsequent pregnancies. This would explain why the risk for complications and premature birth goes down after a first pregnancy, the researchers said.

But will these observations lead to a vaccine anytime soon?

"It's a leap at this point to start talking about a vaccine," said Dr. Deborah Campbell, director of the division of neonatology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

"What this study does is further define how a very interesting and complex biologic process actually happens, in which the mother's body does recognize that the fetus is foreign but instead of treating it as something to be discarded, tolerates it so that the pregnancy is sustained," said Campbell, who was not involved with the study.

"It's certainly elegant science," Campbell added. "But it is just one small piece in furthering our understanding of the regulation of immune function during pregnancy. And a lot more work needs to be done before one could really look toward developing any kind of a vaccine."

The research was supported by grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

More information

To learn more about premature birth, visit the March of Dimes.

SOURCES: Deborah Campbell, M.D., director, division of neonatology, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, news release, Sept. 26, 2012

I found this article at:  http://healthcare.utah.edu/healthlibrary/related/doc.php?type=6&id=669027

by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 12:19 PM
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Replies (1-10):
maddiesmommy5
by Member on Apr. 3, 2013 at 1:59 PM

 NO.Just No.

mjrex87
by Member on Apr. 3, 2013 at 2:09 PM
1 mom liked this

GOOD GOD. As if we aren't already taught by our society that we can't give birth without doctors and a million interventions...Now we can't even be pregnant on our own!

emmy526
by New Owner on Apr. 3, 2013 at 2:11 PM
1 mom liked this

pretty soon birth will be  nothing more than a science experiment

liliem
by Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 3:45 PM

I really don't know how to feel about this.... If I was pregnant and it was known that my body was doing this and I was about to lose the baby and this was my only chance... and I had a really hard time trying to even get pregnant to begin with and almost lost hope... But I don't see how they can make enough money off of it in this case, which means it will be pushed on totally normal pregnant women and serious side effects could occur. That's what I hate about it. The monetary system is a problem. We need a system that works that people can't profit off of problems.

micheledo
by Bronze Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM
1 mom liked this


That's what I wasthinking.  For those moms that have suffered so many miscarriages, I can't imagine this not being seen as a good thing.  But then I wondered if they would market it for every single mom to prevent the possibility.  :(

Quoting liliem:

I really don't know how to feel about this.... If I was pregnant and it was known that my body was doing this and I was about to lose the baby and this was my only chance... and I had a really hard time trying to even get pregnant to begin with and almost lost hope... But I don't see how they can make enough money off of it in this case, which means it will be pushed on totally normal pregnant women and serious side effects could occur. That's what I hate about it. The monetary system is a problem. We need a system that works that people can't profit off of problems.



GoodyBrook
by Bronze Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 4:58 PM

 

Exactly!  My thoughts are that if this vaccine comes on the market, doctors will start to push it on ALL mamas.  Because what overly-hormonal woman can't be convinced that having a premature baby is a bad thing.   And then they'll want to induce her, because an overdue baby is just as bad!  (But I do digress, don't I?  :)

Quoting micheledo:

 

That's what I wasthinking.  For those moms that have suffered so many miscarriages, I can't imagine this not being seen as a good thing.  But then I wondered if they would market it for every single mom to prevent the possibility.  :(

Quoting liliem:

I really don't know how to feel about this.... If I was pregnant and it was known that my body was doing this and I was about to lose the baby and this was my only chance... and I had a really hard time trying to even get pregnant to begin with and almost lost hope... But I don't see how they can make enough money off of it in this case, which means it will be pushed on totally normal pregnant women and serious side effects could occur. That's what I hate about it. The monetary system is a problem. We need a system that works that people can't profit off of problems.

 

 


 

kitty8199
by Silver Member on Apr. 5, 2013 at 10:16 PM
They act like God can't design the body properly or something
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JoyXtwo
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 12:58 AM
That's scary :(
People would buy into this crap too.
JoyXtwo
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 1:08 AM
We're going to turn off your immune system. Then, you need all the shots available because your body can't fight anything, then, after we force your body to carry to term, were gonna force it to go into labour. And that's how we reproduce ladies and gentlemen.
Did it ever occur to anybody that maybe nature knows best, and some embryos arnt ment to continue. This is so wrong and scary.
What happens to the baby? You go on to have a child with a compromised immune system. What keeps it from affecting the DEVELOPING person?
graycalico
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 4:07 AM
Sounds a little like the rh- shot. Not sure how I feel about it. I'm trying to imagine how they will test it out and how many women and children might have long term consequences from it. Obviously preventing miscarriage is a great thing, but how many possible deaths or defects will happen trying to get it right?
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