The challenge of assessing infant vaccine responses in resource-poor settings

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2010 Jun;9(6):665-74. doi: 10.1586/erv.10.41.


Newborns and infants are highly susceptible to infectious diseases, resulting in high mortality and morbidity, particularly in resource-poor settings. Many vaccines require several booster doses, resulting in an extensive vaccine schedule, and yet there is still inadequate protection from some of these diseases. This is partly due to the immaturity of the neonate and infant immune system. Little is known about the specific modifications to immunological assessment protocols in early life but increasing knowledge of infant immunology has helped provide better recommendations for assessing these responses. Since most new vaccines will eventually be deployed in low-income settings such as Africa, the logistics and resources of assessing immunity in such settings also need to be understood. In this article, we will review immunity to vaccines in early life, discuss the many challenges associated with assessing immunogenicity and provide practical tips.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Sex Characteristics
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Vaccines / immunology*


  • Vaccines