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Protective Immunity

Research Gaps

Protective Immunology

  • Assays to measure immune responses to vaccines
  • Indicators of innate immune system resistance
  • Identification of protective antigens, duration of immunity and immune evasion
  • Identifying conserved T and B cell epitopes for broad specificity vaccines
  • Relationship between immune gene expression and protein expression/function
  • Reliable biomarkers to predict vaccine success/failure without need to use animal challenge studies
  • Lack of simple in vitro correlates of protection that accurately predict vaccination outcome in terms of protection
  • Induce protective immunity with minimal doses using non-live vaccines
  • Lack of knowledge about protective immune responses in the host species for some pathogens, especially “exotics” and its stimulation

Vaccine Efficacy

  • Antigenic diversity
  • Maternal antibodies
  • Improving vaccine efficacy in neonatal period and inducing long term immunity
  • Food chain transfer to people
  • Kinetics of the live vaccines
  • The persistence of live vaccines in various tissues
  • How multivalent or multiple vaccine approaches may impact on one another
  • Mechanisms of competition between recombinant vaccines
  • Increasing the efficacy of subunit vaccines
  • Pre-natal and early neo-natal approaches
  • Biomarkers that predict vaccine efficacy for more complex diseases
  • How different types of vaccines work for livestock

Vaccines and duration of Immunity

  • Induction of immunity with longer duration
  • Lifelong immunity
  • Single vaccination
  • Distinguishing between vaccinated and naturally infected animals (DIVA).
  • Disease eradication with reduction in the wildlife reservoir

Host, pathogen and their interactions

  • At the site of infection
  • Host responses to infection, particularly to intracellular pathogens.
  • Microbial pathogenicity: molecular mechanisms of cell surface attachment, immune evasion, immunomodulation etc.
  • Pathogen-host interactions at whole animal level
  • Effectiveness of vaccines in production environments (opposed to ideal conditions in laboratories)
  • Post genome analysis of pathogens
  • Host-Pathogen interaction when animals are “partially protected” after vaccination with live vaccines.
  • Different life cycle stages of many parasites and protective immunity induction

Mucosal Immunity

  • Responses, in particular T cell memory, at mucosal sites of infection
  • Lack of reliable methods to induce mucosal immune responses following immunization with inert antigens
  • Mucosal T cell responses in ruminants (e.g for TB and paraTB)
  • Development of efficacious oral vaccines based on better understanding of mucosal immunity
  • Mucosal vaccination systems

Continuous development of vaccines to meet future challenges

  • Emerging and rapidly changing pathogens: Identifying the highest risks and trying to develop appropriate interventions (vaccines)
  • Rapid high throughput production of novel vaccines
  • Broader immunity against huge diversity of constantly emerging/re-emerging pathogens
  • Continuous vaccine matching studies to evaluate the effectiveness and potency of the current vaccine
  • Evolution of virulence (driven by the partially effective vaccines)
  • Multivalent vaccines for disease syndromes
  • The ability of the live vaccines to revert to virulent for/recombinants/point mutations
  • Produce effective vaccines against pathogens where antibodies have been shown not to be protective against the natural infection
  • Impact of vaccination on the commensal microbiota
  • Mechanisms to enhance immunogenicity of live oral vaccines and decrease the variability seen in protection
  • Rational based vaccine design

Vaccine responsiveness

  • Genetic variation in responsiveness to vaccines; the potential for combined genetic selection and vaccination strategies
  • Immunological memory in veterinary species
  • Immunological basis for vaccine failure
  • Concurrent infection or heterologous vaccination may influence the response to vaccination
  • Role of genetics in animals which are poor immunological responders and are therefore potential “index” cases




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