Effective Single Dose Vaccines Could Be Used Soon After Birth

A recent revolution in understanding how to trigger the innate immune response specifically and how that may determine the course of an acquired immune response prompts the conclusion that research on adjuvants could now become more scientific and less empiric.
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Nature and Context

Globally, immunizations currently prevent 2 million to 3 million deaths every year. Still much is to be learned about our immune systems, vaccines, and long lasting immunities. We do not know how to deliver the antigen in order to elicit a long lasting protective response after a single dose.  In particular, we do not know the rules whereby adjuvants, which strengthen the immune response, also guide it in particular directions, such as formation of high affinity antibodies, Th1 helper T lymphocytes and/or CD8+ T lymphocytes, and assure the production of long term immunologic memory. Looking into this connection can help save even more lives.

Symptoms and Causes

Much new knowledge has accumulated about links between the “innate”, evolutionarily very old immune system, based largely on the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns, and the “adaptive” immune system of vertebrate species.  Additionally, new insight into the biology of memory cells sets the stage for a more designed approach to stimulating long-lasting immunity.

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