- Heat, oxidation and exposure to aldehydes create reactive carbonyl groups on proteins, targeting antigens to scavenger receptors. Formaldehyde is widely used in making vaccines, but has been associated with atypical enhanced disease during subsequent infection with paramyxoviruses. We show that carbonyl groups on formaldehyde-treated vaccine antigens boost T helper type 2 (T(H)2) responses and enhance respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) disease in mice, an effect partially reversible by chemical reduction of carbonyl groups.
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A potential molecular mechanism for hypersensitivity caused by formalin-inactivated vaccines.
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