31 Oct 2022

Tracking the pathway to immunity, one cell at a time

Plasma B-cell making antibody: Shutterstock
Why do some vaccines create long-lived responses and others don't? Monash immunology researchers Dr Marcus Robinson and Professor David Tarlinton are leading a team which is teasing out some answers.

Vaccines work their magic by effectively creating immune cells that are long-lived, often for over decades. These immune cells create both a protective barrier that can prevent or minimize re-infection and a memory that allows us to recognize an old invader like a virus and to kill it before it causes disease. The antibody making the barrier in our blood is itself made by long-lived plasma cells. While the importance of these cells has always been known, how and when they are generated following a vaccination has remained a mystery.

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