Vaccination has been tremendously successful saving lives and preventing infections. However, the development of vaccines against global pandemics such as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis has been obstructed by several challenges. A major challenge is the lack of knowledge about the correlates and mechanisms of protective immunity. Recent advances in the application of systems biological approaches to analyse immune responses to vaccination in humans are beginning to yield new insights about mechanisms of vaccine immunity, and to define molecular signatures, induced rapidly after vaccination, that correlate with and predict vaccine induced immunity. Here, we review these advances and discuss the potential of this systems vaccinology approach in defining novel correlates of protection in clinical trials, and in infection-induced 'experimental challenge models' in humans.
Keywords: high-throughput biology; immunity; systems biology; vaccinology.
© 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.