Correlates of protection induced by vaccination

Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Jul;17(7):1055-65. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00131-10. Epub 2010 May 12.


This paper attempts to summarize current knowledge about immune responses to vaccines that correlate with protection. Although the immune system is redundant, almost all current vaccines work through antibodies in serum or on mucosa that block infection or bacteremia/viremia and thus provide a correlate of protection. The functional characteristics of antibodies, as well as quantity, are important. Antibody may be highly correlated with protection or synergistic with other functions. Immune memory is a critical correlate: effector memory for short-incubation diseases and central memory for long-incubation diseases. Cellular immunity acts to kill or suppress intracellular pathogens and may also synergize with antibody. For some vaccines, we have no true correlates, but only useful surrogates, for an unknown protective response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies
  • Humans
  • Immunity*
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Vaccines / immunology*


  • Antibodies
  • Vaccines