Understanding protective influenza immunity and identifying immune correlates of protection poses a major challenge and requires an appreciation of the immune system in all of its complexity. While adaptive immune responses such as neutralizing antibodies and influenza-specific T lymphocytes are contributing to the control of influenza virus, key factors of long-term protection are not well defined. Using systems immunology, an approach that combines experimental and computational methods, we can capture the systems-level state of protective immunity and reveal the essential pathways that are involved. New approaches and technological developments in systems immunology offer an opportunity to examine roles and interrelationships of clinical, biological, and genetic factors in the control of influenza infection and have the potential to lead to novel discoveries about influenza immunity that are essential for the development of more effective vaccines to prevent future pandemics. Here, we review recent developments in systems immunology that help to reveal key factors mediating protective immunity.
Keywords: artificial intelligence; data mining; influenza; influenza vaccines; machine learning; multi-omics integrative analysis; protective immunity; systems immunology.