What influence could genetics have on immunity following vaccination?

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A study of over 3000 children across the UK and the Netherlands has revealed genetic variants associated with differing levels of protective antibodies produced after routine immunizations. These findings could inform the development of new vaccine strategies and lead to personalized vaccine schedules to maximize effectiveness.

Vaccine response and persistence is influenced by a variety of factors including age, sex, nutritional status and prior infection. In addition to this, twin studies have shown vaccine-induced immunity is highly heritable, indicating genetic components.

Co-first author Daniel O’Connor of the University of Oxford (UK) explained: “The mechanisms underlying the persistence of antibody is of major interest, since effectiveness and acceptability of vaccines would be improved if protection were sustained after infant immunization without the need for repeated boosting through childhood.”

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