Commentary | Published:

Nonspecific effects of neonatal and infant vaccination: public-health, immunological and conceptual challenges

Nature Immunology volume 15, pages 895899 (2014) | Download Citation

Abstract

Vaccines can have nonspecific effects through their modulation of responses to infections not specifically targeted by the vaccine. However, lack of knowledge about the underlying immunological mechanisms and molecular cause-and-effect relationships prevent use of this potentially powerful early-life intervention to its greatest benefit. The World Health Organization has identified investigations into the molecular basis of nonspecific vaccine effects as a research priority.

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Acknowledgements

Supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Danish Council for Development Research, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (104.Dan.8.f) and Framework Programme 7 of the European Union (Health-F3-2011-261375 support for OPTIMUNISE), all for the work on the nonspecific effects of vaccines; and the European Research Council (ERC-2009-StG-243149 to C.S.B.), the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF108 to C.S.B.), the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (T.R.K.) and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (T.R.K.).

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Affiliations

  1. Peter Aaby and Christine Stabell Benn are with Bandim Health Project, Indepth Network, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau; OPEN, Institute of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark/Odense University Hospital, Denmark; and Research Centre for Vitamins and Vaccines, Bandim Health Project, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark.

    • Peter Aaby
    •  & Christine Stabell Benn
  2. Tobias R. Kollmann is with the Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Child & Family Research Institute, Vancouver, Canada.

    • Tobias R Kollmann

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Peter Aaby.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ni.2961

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