Immunopharmacology research including vaccines in India (2012-2017)
During the last five years, research in basic and applied immunopharmacology including vaccines has seen various developments. The role of synthetic chemical moieties and recombinant products has been extensively evaluated for their immunosuppressive and immunostimulant properties with considerable degrees of success. Further, research using medicinal plant derived natural agents have gathered significant momentum due to their favorable safety profile coupled with validated beneficial therapeutic effects in certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma and related allergic disorders, iron deficiency anemia, ulcerative colitis, splenic apoptosis etc. The association of life style diseases precipitated by factors like stress with immune responses has also been investigated. Pharmacological and toxicological studies have shown that oxidative stress and its interactions with nitric oxide may play a major role in such pathophysiological states. Several synthetic and natural agents including antioxidants act by neutralizing the byproducts of body’s normal metabolic pathways such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). In the past five years, immunopharmacology research on vaccines also contributed significantly in the development of vaccines and identified most conserved and immunogenic antigens of certain diseases such as brucellosis, hepatitis A and B, plague etc. This can lead to potential vaccine candidates in the future by enhancing vaccine effect on delivering of DNA, immunogenic and mucosal immune response. As some of the novel findings of innovative immunopharmacological research are still in developmental stages, these discoveries will help in bringing various upcoming molecules directed against various immune related disorders in future, which are likely to complement conventional therapy intractable diseases. Immunopharmacology and immunotoxicology are thus likely to emerge one of the disease transforming areas of research with a long-standing impact in biology and medicine.