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CrateDane t1_jdn4jyc wrote

Influenza is caused by RNA viruses with a segmented genome, so they can mutate and escape immunity very quickly. Tetanus is caused by certain soil bacteria that don't mutate nearly so rapidly (and aren't under as much selection pressure to escape human immunity, as they mainly live in soil).


DoctorBME t1_jdnlcif wrote

Additionally, tetanus vaccine is inactivated toxin which targets a very specific binding site. It's easier to block that toxin from binding than an entire virus, which can target an array of cell types and binding sites.


jawshoeaw t1_jdo711y wrote

Technically no the vaccine doesn’t target anything. Maybe you were thinking about the antiserum given in emergencies.


simojako t1_jdosn9m wrote

>Technically no the vaccine doesn’t target anything

Is this some weird pedantism about that it's the antibodies that does the targeting?


mrcatboy t1_jdpjltx wrote

It's actually a very important distinction. A vaccine just exposes a specific protein target to the host's immune system.

Thing is, each host immune system is going to create a completely different cocktail of antibodies to bind that protein. Suppose you and I got vaccinated for covid with the same vaccine. If you compared our resulting antibodies they would be completely different and also likely bind to different parts of the target protein.

The process of developing immunity is a pretty big subject and it's important to emphasize that.


jawshoeaw t1_jdost7y wrote

It’s not pedantic unless you think it’s pedantic to correct someone’s factually incorrect statement. His claim was wrong in several ways and anyone reading it would misinformed


simojako t1_jdotltp wrote

Everyone in the world knows what someone mean when they that a vaccine targets something.

You didn't even correct, you just said "technically the vaccine doesn't target anything".


masshiker t1_jdn641i wrote

When I was younger they taught that vaccines were only for viruses but now it gets applied to bacterial treatments as well.


iamamuttonhead t1_jdncssq wrote

A vaccination can be for anything for which you want to "prime" the immune system. Priming means exposing the immune system to something which will produce a condition where the immune system can respond more quickly when it encounters that something again. In theory, we could get vaccinated against fungi as well but given that they are evolutionary far closer to animals than are bacteria or viruses requiring the vaccine efforts to focus on specific differences (e.g. cell wall sugars in fungi). Even so, there may be problems with, for instance, creating food allergies (we eat a lot fo fungi and fungi are close to plants evolutionarily).


h3rbi74 t1_jdofci1 wrote

There have been antifungal veterinary vaccines for a long time (specifically targeting “ringworm”) but their efficacy was debatable so they are no longer widely used in the US, but are still used in some parts of the world and for some industrially farmed animals instead of pets. I am old enough to remember the pharmaceutical reps hyping it up for cats (because it is a PAIN to treat/eliminate in an animal that does NOT want to take repeated medicated baths or even moreso the old fashioned lime-sulfur dips!) but nothing much ever came of it and it just quietly disappeared.

Scroll down for brief discussion of fungal veterinary vaccines:


iamamuttonhead t1_jdogsb9 wrote

The one vaccine you mentioned. This vaccine (or the versions that work) uses the approach of live attenuated fungus which may face regulatory hurdles in humans.

The live attenuated approach is being used in this not-yet-approved one:

I believe, though, that at least in the U.S. there is not a single approved anti-fungal vaccine for humans.


h3rbi74 t1_jdqxx3q wrote

Very excited to see if the Valley Fever vaccine is successful! Especially because if it is, one can hope that vaccines against blastomycosis and histoplasmosis aren’t far behind, and that’s what I’m more likely to see where I currently live. (Also advancing science and human medicine and etc, but dogs with systemic fungal disease are so sad and challenging to treat!)


joeri1505 t1_jdnfenh wrote

Either you were taught wrong or perhaps you misremember. Some of the first vaccinations in the late 1800's were for bacterial diseases. For example, Pasteur's Antrax vaccinations


jawshoeaw t1_jdo7f3f wrote

It’s not the first time I’ve heard this misconception. Maybe because vaccine starts with v or something. Or because in the age of antibiotics it’s well known bacteria are easy to kill directly where as viruses are best avoided by vaccine or you must wait them out while the immune system mops them out


masshiker t1_jdohyqm wrote

Somebody taught me that bacterial infections could not be treated with vaccines. They are entirely different life forms right? You treat them with penicillin.


Ehldas t1_jdoq005 wrote

A vaccine is given before an infection (whether viral or bacterial), to stop it happening in the first place.

There are some rare exceptions, like rabies in some cases, where you would use a post-exposure vaccine, but for the vast majority it's a preventive measure not a curative one.


emelrad12 t1_jdqgo5n wrote

Well rabies is really slow with incubation of months compared to days for others, so technically you are still giving it before the virus is even noticed by the immune system.


joeri1505 t1_jdps73e wrote

A vaccine is a weakened or incapacitated version of a disease that teaches your body how to fight of a real infection. This can be both a virus or a bacteria.

Penicilin is a medicine that kills bacteria.

Vaccinations prevent sickness Penecilin (or other antibiotics) cure bacterial infections

Vaccines are not a treatment for sick people You cant prevent whats already there


OlympusMons94 t1_jdnfac9 wrote

Pasteur made vaccines for cholera (edit: fowl/chicken cholera) and anthrax (both bacterial) in the late 1800s.


eye_spi t1_jdnbxj6 wrote

There's a fungal vaccine in the works now, too, that is showing great promise for a condition known as valley fever. While they're focusing on dogs to start, the condition also affects humans, and the vaccine may be helpful for us, too.


eburton555 t1_jdoemoq wrote

How young? Bacterial vaccines have been around for a while hahaha


iayork t1_jdnxp9k wrote

Despite what everyone is going to say, this has nothing to do with antigenic drift in flu (i.e. accumulated mutations in circulating viruses) and certainly nothing to do with antigenic shift (genome segment rearrangement).

While antigenic drift is a concern and shift is a much rarer concern, the fact is that influenza vaccine immunity wanes extremely fast regardless of shift or drift. This is very well known and there are literally hundreds of publications about it; you can start with Waning of Measured Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Over Time or Waning Vaccine Effectiveness Against Influenza-Associated Hospitalizations Among Adults, 2015-2016 to 2018-2019, United States Hospitalized Adult Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network or many others.

This waning with the influenza vaccine is generally much worse than most vaccines and in particular it’s much worse than tetanus vaccine. The sad truth, though, is we don’t know why immunity wanes so fast. Part of it is that the conventional inactivated influenza vaccine, which has no adjuvant, is poorly immunogenic - but that’s kind of going in circles because “poorly immunogenic” means its immunity wanes rapidly.

Even many more modern influenza vaccines, made through different approaches, are weakly immunogenic and have rapid waning of immunity. So maybe there’s something specific about influenza, that means it has adapted to be poorly immunogenic in people. If so, we don’t have a clear idea what it is.

Including adjuvants with the vaccine does help, and that’s used in the elderly.

But in a sense, it’s not a critical problem now because even if immunity didn’t wane, we’d still need to give nearly annual vaccines because of the antigenic drift problem. It’s annoying, it does mean that people vaccinated in fall are already less well protected by spring, but by summer flu has mostly gone away and mostly you need a new vaccination by fall again anyway.

If and when new vaccines against flu are introduced, with broader reactivity, that don’t need to be modified every year - then this will need to be solved too. But they’re not out yet.


jawshoeaw t1_jdo97ah wrote

It may be a little of both as the saying goes. Studies of vaccine antibody persistence in a few diseases suggest that if you’re not regularly exposed to the organism in question, the antibodies fade faster, sometimes much faster than in communities where the organism is endemic. Even though the people are not getting reinfected at least not obviously. So (and this is just my idle speculation) since influenza famously does as you said , drift , maybe we don’t get the benefit of reawakening the vaccine with repeated exposure. But back to actual science: it remains a mystery why influenza vaccines fade so incredibly fast , sometimes within a month it’s starting to fade.


iayork t1_jdqx141 wrote

> if you’re not regularly exposed to the organism in question, the antibodies fade faster, sometimes much faster than in communities where the organism is endemic.

Do you have a recent reference for this? My impression is that that was a good working hypothesis, but it hasn’t held up very well to data - in particular, I think that measles vaccine immunity holds up well even in regions where measles is essentially eradicated.


RuleRepresentative94 t1_jdpgj0o wrote

Thank you. Really tired of people not understanding that permanent immunity is a property of our immune system, not the virus.


noobwithguns t1_jdp9a4f wrote

Influenza virus can easily mutate and change its spike proteins, this our B memory cells aren't able to bind to this new mutated virus and it's as if it's a whole new virus. Tetanus is caused by a bacteria called clostridium tetani which ofc is a bacteria which posses the power of mutation but can't mutate as rapidly as RNA viruses.

Simpler words influenza is a theif that robs you every week but changes his outfit so you never see him coming but tetanus is a dumb theif which doesn't change his attire when he tries to rob you and gets caught before he could rob you because he robbed you once and you remember his looks now(vaccine)


wildfire393 t1_jdn441v wrote

Influenza is a lot more common and contagious, which gives it much more opportunity to mutate. Often these mutations will allow it to bypass a previous vaccine that was formulated for an older version. So a new vaccine needs to be developed to deal with the new strain.


LordRobin------RM t1_jdn9h1a wrote

But some immunity fades even for the same strain. That was the reason for the first COVID booster. They couldn’t guarantee if would last longer than six months.


wildfire393 t1_jdnij8h wrote

There's some dropoff over time even against the same strain, but there's also better immune response after more exposures. The first COVID shot was two doses because testing showed a better immune response for two doses at a certain concentration several weeks apart, rather than a larger dose one time.


DarkTheImmortal t1_jdpbfxk wrote

Tetanus is a single, specific infection. Influenza is a collection of MANY viral infections. Each flu virus requires a different vaccine. The yearly Flu vaccine is actually a combination of 4 different vaccines for the 4 viruses that researchers believe will be the most prevailing viruses of the year.


HowManyAccountsPoo t1_jdooalp wrote

Influenza is localised to the lungs, the virus attaches and multiplies there. From there to lymph nodes in any discernable concentration is a long way. Tetanus is a main circulatory system infection so it will come into contact with lymph nodes more often and in higher concentrations allowing a greater immune response.

You need more top ups of influenza vaccines to increase the possibility of an immune response from the lower concentrations of virus entering the lymph nodes.