The research proposed in years 6 and 7 of the Emory-HIPC will build on the considerable progress made during the first 5 years in using systems based approaches to understand the molecular networks driving innate and adaptive immune responses to vaccination. The major focus of the work planned in years 6 and 7 is to understand the immunological mechanisms by which the recently licensed subunit vaccine for herpes zoster (HZ, shingles) induces highly efficacious protection against shingles. HZ which is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), affects several million people/year globally, and is a significant public health concern for the elderly. An important recent development is the development of a new subunit HZ vaccine, which contains the recombinant glycoprotein E subunit (?gE vaccine?), adjuvanted with AS01, a liposome-based adjuvant system containing the TLR4 agonist MPL, and the saponin, QS21 (1-4). The gE vaccine has recently been licensed for clinical use in subjects older than 50 years, under the trade name Shingrix. Remarkably, the efficacy of Shingrix is high (91%) even in 70 year old vaccinees (1-4). Although Shingrix has revealed superior antibody responses and greater durability of CD4+ T cell responses to the gE vaccine, a comprehensive assessment of immune responses to the gE vaccine is lacking. This will be achieved in Aims 1 and 2, where we will analyze the innate and adaptive responses to Shingrix. Importantly we will analyze these results in the context of data generated from our previous HIPC project on immune responses induced by the live attenuated zoster vaccine, Zostavax.
Aim 1 : Systems analysis of innate responses elicited by Shingrix in 50-60 year old and >70 year old subjects.
Aim 2 : To analyze the adaptive immune response elicited by Shingrix in 50-59 year old and >70-85 years old subjects.
Therefore the study proposed in Aims 1 and 2 will yield new information, about the molecular mechanisms that drive innate and adaptive immune responses to vaccination with this highly efficacious Shingrix vaccine.
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