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Editorial

Vaccination under TNF blockade - less effective, but worthwhile

Martin Aringer

Author Affiliations

Department of Medicine III, Division of Rheumatology, University Clinical Center Carl Gustav Carus at the Technical University of Dresden, Fetscherstrasse 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14:117  doi:10.1186/ar3808

Published: 14 May 2012

Abstract

Only after biological response modifiers have become available have we begun to understand some of the complex functions of TNF in the human immune system. TNF is clearly essential for fighting intracellular pathogens, but probably not essential for fighting tumors. TNF influence on the humoral immune response, in contrast, has been more complicated to decipher, since TNF blockade is associated with both autoantibody formation and (somewhat) reduced responses to vaccination. Novel data now show that TNF is good for the humoral immune response. Vaccinations still work, however, and should be strongly recommended.