Beyond empiricism: informing vaccine development through innate immunity research

Cell. 2012 Mar 16;148(6):1284-92. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.02.012.


Although a great public heath success, vaccines provide suboptimal protection in some patient populations and are not available to protect against many infectious diseases. Insights from innate immunity research have led to a better understanding of how existing vaccines work and have informed vaccine development. New adjuvants and delivery systems are being designed based upon their capacity to stimulate innate immune sensors and target antigens to dendritic cells, the cells responsible for initiating adaptive immune responses. Incorporating these adjuvants and delivery systems in vaccines can beneficially alter the quantitative and qualitative nature of the adaptive immune response, resulting in enhanced protection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage
  • Animals
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Communicable Diseases / immunology
  • Empiricism
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Vaccines / immunology*
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Vaccines