Intestinal Bacteria Needed for Strong Flu Vaccine Responses in Mice

Dr. Bali Pulendran, faculty member in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis, was featured in Voice of America, The Scientist, and Science Magazine for his research on intestinal bacteria and flu vaccines. This research was published in the journal Immunity.

Pulendran and colleagues demonstrate a dependency on gut bacteria for strong immune responses to the seasonal flu and inactivated polio vaccines. Antibody responses to vaccines containing immune stimulating substances called adjuvants were not affected by a lack of gut bacteria. For example, bacteria were not critical for responses to the Tdap (Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis) vaccine.

“Our results suggest that the gut microbiome may be exerting a powerful effect on immunity to vaccination in humans, even immunity induced by a vaccine that is given at a distant site,” says Pulendran. Click here to read full story in the Emory News Center.