Coping with genetic diversity: the contribution of pathogen and human genomics to modern vaccinology

Abstract : Vaccine development faces major difficulties partly because of genetic variation in both infectious organisms and humans. This causes antigenic variation in infectious agents and a high interindividual variability in the human response to the vaccine. The exponential growth of genome sequence information has induced a shift from conventional culture-based to genome-based vaccinology, and allows the tackling of challenges in vaccine development due to pathogen genetic variability. Additionally, recent advances in immunogenetics and genomics should help in the understanding of the influence of genetic factors on the interindividual and interpopulation variations in immune responses to vaccines, and could be useful for developing new vaccine strategies. Accumulating results provide evidence for the existence of a number of genes involved in protective immune responses that are induced either by natural infections or vaccines. Variation in immune responses could be viewed as the result of a perturbation of gene networks; this should help in understanding how a particular polymorphism or a combination thereof could affect protective immune responses. Here we will present: i) the first genome-based vaccines that served as proof of concept, and that provided new critical insights into vaccine development strategies; ii) an overview of genetic predisposition in infectious diseases and genetic control in responses to vaccines; iii) population genetic differences that are a rationale behind group-targeted vaccines; iv) an outlook for genetic control in infectious diseases, with special emphasis on the concept of molecular networks that will provide a structure to the huge amount of genomic data.
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Denise Lemaire, Theoliz Barbosa, Pascal Rihet. Coping with genetic diversity: the contribution of pathogen and human genomics to modern vaccinology. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica, 2012, 45 (5), pp.376-385. ⟨10.1590/S0100-879X2011007500142⟩. ⟨hal-01455691⟩

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