A new approach for accurately predicting the efficacy of vaccination is published online in Nature Immunology this week. Vaccines can be incredibly effective in protecting against viral infection but, currently, predicting the immune response in a particular individual can be a hit-and-miss affair.
Using two established influenza vaccines, Bali Pulendran and colleagues use a comprehensive genetics approach to identify molecular ‘signatures’ rapidly appearing in healthy adults following vaccination. These early genetic readouts could be used to accurately predict the efficacy of subsequent immune responses to influenza over several years. They report that the appearance of one gene in particular, CAMK4, shows a strong correlation with poor vaccine responses.
Since these genetic signatures could highlight important immune control systems, they may be very useful in predicting the outcome of vaccination to viruses in general.