Innate Immunological Defense Offers Protection Before and After Vaccination

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Chan Chung-lap Ben Wong Chun-kwok Leung Ping-chung


Introduction: Vaccine protects the recipient against invading bio- organisms via the Adaptive Immunity System. Vaccination works well if the organism has a constant unchanging structure. However, if variants develop and keep changing, vaccination becomes ineffective. The COVID-19 pandemic has given us sufficient warnings that variant could be worrying. Additional measures to prevent infection are very much desired. “Trained Immunity” has been described as a unique non-specific innate system of immunological defense outside the adaptive system. It could be stimulated after various types of infection or via the influence of immune-stimulating compounds like β glucan, which is a polysaccharide. Use of Herbal Combinations in the Viral Epidemics: Reviewing China’s multiple reports on the combined use of herbal treatment in the 2003 SARS epidemic and the current COVID-19, together with standard managements, we believe that herbs containing immuno-stimulants like β glucan could be producing immuno- boosting effects. Since 2020 we organized series of platform studies aiming to prove that the application of two medicinal herbs, viz. Astragalus membranaceus and Coriolus versicolor (AM and CV), singly or combined with COVID-19 vaccination, could produce trained immunity effects. First, we reviewed our experience gained in the 2003 SARS epidemic when we completed immunological platform studies on a herbal formula, followed by a clinical trial on hospital workers using the same herbal formula to test their infection rate compared with non-users. Results yielded very positive observations in both platform studies and clinical trial. Subsequently, human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were used to react with the Astragalus and Coriolus (AM & CV) extracts to study whether the two herbs in the study formulation, which are rich in β glucan, were supporting the establishment of innate immunological defense. Then, special mice were orally fed with the extracts with or without vaccination to establish further in-vivo evidence. Comprehensive studies of blood changes and intestinal mucosal changes were recorded. Results of this study showed significant increases on the immune-related cytokine productionsafter simple consuming the herbal combinations. When vaccination was given together with the oral herbal supplements, stronger antibody activities were demonstrated. Discussion: Our research efforts, starting from the 2003 SARS epidemic, to the present COVID- 19 pandemic, illustrated that in- vitro and animal experiments, using extracts of Astragalus and Coriolus (AM & CV) as adjuvant compounds, the innate immunological activities could be boosted up. When vaccination was combined in the animal model, synergistic effects were obvious. The favorable results encourage further studies on the clinical applications on human volunteers.

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BEN, Chan Chung-lap; CHUN-KWOK, Wong; PING-CHUNG, Leung. Innate Immunological Defense Offers Protection Before and After Vaccination. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 3, july 2024. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 july 2024.
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