PerspectiveImmunology

Immunology taught by vaccines

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Science  29 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6469, pp. 1074-1075
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau6975

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Summary

Despite the success of vaccination in controlling many infectious diseases, there are challenges in designing vaccines against HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, and other pathogens that, in aggregate, afflict billions of people. Vaccine development has been frustrated by a lack of detailed understanding about what types of immune responses are effective at preventing infection, and failure to translate successes in animal models to humans. This problem is compounded by the variability in vaccine efficacy in humans. For example, vaccines against oral pathogens such as Rotavirus and Poliomyelitis have considerably lower efficacy in children in some low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) compared to those in high-income countries (1). Environmental differences, persistent parasitic infections, malnutrition, and environmental enteropathy may affect immune system function and its ability to respond to vaccination (1, 2). Several studies have also suggested that intestinal microbiota composition plays a role (1, 2).

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