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Vaginal Immune System May Hint at Prime Vaccine Timing

By October 12, 2022No Comments

Levels of key immune-signaling molecules in the vagina “undergo clear and consistent” fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, a UW Medicine-led team reports in a study published today in the journal BMC Medicine.

The findings might help researchers better understand the immune system’s role in fertility, and guide scientists’ efforts to develop vaccines and treatments for infectious disease.

A meta-analysis of 32 studies showed that the immune system within the vagina ebbs and flows, depending on menstrual-cycle stage. The analysis identified 53 distinct messages that immune cells sent to one another.