THE USE OF CPG OLIGODEOXYNUCLEOTIDES AS AN ADJUVANT FOR IMMUNOTHERAPY TO MEDIATE THE T-HELPER CELL RESPONSE AGAINST DOG ALLERGIES
by Meagan Eickelbeck
Abstract – Dog allergies are a nationwide concern, with 15 million Americans suffering from this allergy. Currently, the treatment against allergies, allergen immunotherapy (AIT), lacks efficacy in treating most allergies and has yet to focus on improving AIT for dog allergies. This study is the first to determine whether or not adding a bacterial adjuvant, CpG ODNs, to AIT will prevent an allergic response to dog allergens. In vitro observation of cell responses to dog allergens, combined with and without CpG ODNs, was assessed. When evaluating the effectiveness of adding the CpG ODN, the type of T-helper cell response was determined through flow cytometry. Results indicated a decrease in Th2 cells, with no increase in Th1 cells. Overall, this demonstrates that the use of CpG ODNs has the potential to amend the immune response. Ultimately, the goal of this research extends beyond treating dog allergies. Ideally, researchers hope to fully understand the method of using bacterial adjuvants against allergies so the treatment can be widespread across different types of allergies.