The challenge of assessing infant vaccine responses in resource-poor settings

Katie L. Flanagan, Sarah Burl, Barbara L. Lohman-Payne, Magdalena Plebanski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Newborns and infants are highly susceptible to infectious diseases, resulting in high mortality and morbidity, particularly in resource-poor settings. Many vaccines require several booster doses, resulting in an extensive vaccine schedule, and yet there is still inadequate protection from some of these diseases. This is partly due to the immaturity of the neonate and infant immune system. Little is known about the specific modifications to immunological assessment protocols in early life but increasing knowledge of infant immunology has helped provide better recommendations for assessing these responses. Since most new vaccines will eventually be deployed in low-income settings such as Africa, the logistics and resources of assessing immunity in such settings also need to be understood. In this article, we will review immunity to vaccines in early life, discuss the many challenges associated with assessing immunogenicity and provide practical tips.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-674
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Vaccines
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Antibody
  • B cell
  • Cord blood
  • Developing country
  • Immune response
  • Infant
  • Innate immunity
  • Neonate
  • Nonspecific effect
  • T cell
  • Vaccine

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