Systems Vaccinology: Applications, Trends, and Perspectives
The strategies employed in vaccinology have improved since the seminal work of Edward Jenner in the eighteenth century. Stimulated by failure to develop vaccines for cancers and chronic infectious diseases as well as an emergence of a multitude of new technologies not available earlier, vaccinology has moved from a largely experimental art to a new phase of innovation. Currently, immune reactions can be predicted and modeled before they occur and formulations can be optimized in advance for genetic background, age, sex, lifestyle, environmental factors, and microbiome. A multitude of scientific insights and technological advancements have led us to this current status, yet possibly none of the recent developments is individually more promising to achieve these goals than the interdisciplinary science of systems vaccinology. This review summarizes current trends and applications of systems vaccinology, including technically tangible areas of vaccine and immunology research which allow the transformative process into a truly broad understanding of vaccines, thereby effectively modeling interaction of vaccines with health and disease. It is becoming clear that a multitude of factors have to be considered to understand inter-patient variability of vaccine responses including those characterized from the interfaces between the immune system, microbiome, metabolome, and the nervous system.