Statins are cholesterol lowering drugs that have shown a profound effect on human health by reducing cardiovascular disease. However, two recent publications in the Journal of Infectious Diseases showed that statin use had a negative impact on the influenza vaccine response in elderly individuals [1, 2]. We propose to evaluate the immune response following vaccination in mice undergoing statin treatment. An initial study will determine the therapeutic window for statin treatment of mice fed a lipid-enriched diet. From the literature this window is expected to be between 21-28 days. That therapeutic window will be used for evaluation of the immune response following vaccination with an inactivated influenza vaccine. After treating the mice with statins for the optimum time to see an effect, we will vaccinate mice and evaluate the immune response to vaccination. Current lab activities are focused on developing assays to determine cholesterol, trigyceride, and HDL-cholesterol levels in mice.
Olsen, Calvin and Tarbet, Bart, "Use of a Mouse Model to Evaluate the Effect of Statins on the Immune Response to an Influenza Virus Vaccine" (2016). Biology Posters. Paper 36.