Jump-starting the immune system: prime-boosting comes of age

Trends Immunol. 2004 Feb;25(2):98-104. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2003.11.009.


A major challenge for immunologists has been the development of vaccines designed to emphasize cellular immune responses. One particularly promising approach is the prime-boost strategy, which has been shown to generate high levels of T-cell memory in animal models. Recently, several papers have highlighted the power of prime-boost strategies in eliciting protective cellular immunity to a variety of pathogens and have demonstrated efficacy in humans. Coupled with recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the generation, maintenance and recall of T-cell memory, the field is poised to make tremendous progress. This Review discusses the impact of these recent developments on the future of prime-boost vaccine strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology
  • Immunity, Mucosal / immunology
  • Immunization, Secondary / methods*
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / immunology
  • Immunologic Memory / immunology
  • Models, Immunological
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Vaccination / methods*
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Vaccines / immunology
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Immunodominant Epitopes
  • Vaccines
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • Vaccines, Synthetic