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Bio Saga

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Systems Biology Can Uncover Signatures of Vaccination Immune Response

A team of American and French researchers used systems biology to identify gene signatures predicting human immune responses to the yellow fever vaccine, YF-17D. The work appeared in an advanced online publication in Nature Immunology yesterday.

Using high-throughput gene expression measurements, multiplex analysis of cytokines and chemokines, and multi-parameter flow cytometry, investigators tested samples taken from more than a dozen individuals in the days and weeks following their yellow fever vaccination. Computational modeling allowed them to come up with signatures predicting CD8+ T-cell and neutralizing antibody responses to YF-17D — insights into vaccine immunogenicity that may inform future vaccine research and development.
“The identification of gene signatures that correlate with, and are capable of predicting, the magnitudes of the antigen-specific CD8+ T-cell and neutralizing antibody responses provides the first methodological evidence that vaccine-induced immune responses can indeed be predicted,” senior author Bali Pulendran, an immunologist and virologist at the Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta, and his colleagues wrote.
The yellow fever vaccine, which was developed in the 1930s, has been administered to more than 600 million people around the world. Because it is among the most effective vaccines to date — protecting 80 to 90 percent of the individuals who receive it — the researchers reasoned that YF-17D could serve as a good model for studying the early immune response to vaccination.

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