“Smallpox Vaccine Recruits Skin Bacteria to Fight Disease”

This pitch letter is part of The Open Notebook’s Pitch Database, which contains 290 successful pitches to a wide range of publications. To share your own successful pitch, please fill out this form.

The Story

“Smallpox Vaccine Recruits Skin Bacteria to Fight Disease”
by Patience Asanga
The Scientist, April 26, 2022

The Pitch

Hi Shawna,

I’ve found a story that I think would suit The Scientist’s audience. It’s a new research showing how a host’s microbiota interacts with a smallpox vaccine to induce protection against smallpox.

Indeed, dermal vaccination with the vaccinia virus offers protection against smallpox, but nobody knew how this worked until now.

Researchers from Cambridge University, UK claim that their experimental study on mice highlights how the vaccine induces an increase in the number of commensal bacteria in infected tissues, which eventually triggers an immune response in the host.

The authors say, ‘this [their study] suggests that manipulation of commensal skin microbiota might be a way to enhance the efficacy of intradermal vaccines.’

This is the link to the research paper: bit.ly/36eJ4C9

Let me know what you think.

Patience Asanga

Skip to content