Molecular signatures for vaccine development

Vaccine. 2015 Sep 29;33(40):5256-61. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.03.075. Epub 2015 Apr 6.


The immune system has evolved complex and specialized mechanisms to mount specific defense responses against the various types of pathogens it encounters. For the development of new vaccines, it is crucial to gain a better understanding of what these mechanisms are and how they work. The field of vaccinology has adopted high-throughput profiling techniques to gain more detailed insights into the various immune responses elicited by different vaccines and natural infections. From all detailed transcriptional profiles generated today, a general picture of immunological responses emerges. First, almost every type of vaccine induces an early interferon-dominated signature. Second, different vaccine formulations induce distinct transcriptional signatures, representing the highly specialized defense mechanisms that must cope with the different pathogens and insults they cause. Transcriptional profiling has shifted its attention toward early molecular signatures, with a growing awareness that early innate responses are likely critical instructors for the development of adaptive immunity at later time points.

Keywords: Defense response; Signatures; Vaccination.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity* / genetics
  • Biomedical Research
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate* / genetics
  • Interferons / genetics
  • Interferons / immunology
  • Transcriptome*
  • Vaccines / immunology*


  • Vaccines
  • Interferons