Characterizing Vaccine Responses Using Host Genomic and Transcriptomic Analysis

Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, United Kingdom
Clinical Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 8.89). 05/2013; 57(6). DOI: 10.1093/cid/cit373
Source: PubMed


Vaccines have had a profound influence on human health with no other health intervention rivalling their impact on the morbidity and mortality associated with infectious disease. However, the magnitude and persistence of vaccine immunity varies considerably between individuals, a phenomenon that is not well understood. Recent studies have used contemporary technologies to correlate variation in the genome and transcriptome to immunological measures of vaccine responsiveness. These approaches have provided fresh insight into the intrinsic factors determining the potency and duration of vaccine-induced immunity. The fundamental challenge will be to translate these findings into innovative and pragmatic strategies to develop new and more effective vaccines.

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    • "However, two other studies of hepatitis B vaccine responses performed in young children showed much higher estimates of heritability of 91% (Yan et al., 2013) and 77% (Newport et al., 2004), respectively. In addition, responses to vaccines given at birth (oral polio vaccine [OPV] and Bacillus Calmette– Gué rin [BCG]) are more heritable than even those administered only 2 months later (diphtheria and tetanus) (Newport et al., 2004; O'Connor and Pollard, 2013). In addition, Evans et al. analyzed 12-year-old twins in Australia (Evans et al., 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: There is considerable heterogeneity in immunological parameters between individuals, but its sources are largely unknown. To assess the relative contribution of heritable versus non-heritable factors, we have performed a systems-level analysis of 210 healthy twins between 8 and 82 years of age. We measured 204 different parameters, including cell population frequencies, cytokine responses, and serum proteins, and found that 77% of these are dominated (>50% of variance) and 58% almost completely determined (>80% of variance) by non-heritable influences. In addition, some of these parameters become more variable with age, suggesting the cumulative influence of environmental exposure. Similarly, the serological responses to seasonal influenza vaccination are also determined largely by non-heritable factors, likely due to repeated exposure to different strains. Lastly, in MZ twins discordant for cytomegalovirus infection, more than half of all parameters are affected. These results highlight the largely reactive and adaptive nature of the immune system in healthy individuals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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