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Mol Cells. 2009 Jan 31;27(1):5-14. doi: 10.1007/s10059-009-0015-1. Epub 2009 Feb 5.

Host responses from innate to adaptive immunity after vaccination: molecular and cellular events.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


The availability of effective vaccines has had the most profound positive effect on improving the quality of public health by preventing infectious diseases. Despite many successful vaccines, there are still old and new emerging pathogens against which there is no vaccine available. A better understanding of how vaccines work for providing protection will help to improve current vaccines as well as to develop effective vaccines against pathogens for which we do not have a proper means to control. Recent studies have focused on innate immunity as the first line of host defense and its role in inducing adaptive immunity; such studies have been an intense area of research, which will reveal the immunological mechanisms how vaccines work for protection. Toll-like receptors (TLRs), a family of receptors for pathogen-associated molecular patterns on cells of the innate immune system, play a critical role in detecting and responding to microbial infections. Importantly, the innate immune system modulates the quantity and quality of longterm T and B cell memory and protective immune responses to pathogens. Limited studies suggest that vaccines which mimic natural infection and/or the structure of pathogens seem to be effective in inducing long-term protective immunity. A better understanding of the similarities and differences of the molecular and cellular events in host responses to vaccination and pathogen infection would enable the rationale for design of novel preventive measures against many challenging pathogens.

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