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Learn Which Immunological Responses Provide Protective Immunity

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Background

New technologies offer the potential to assay a wide variety of biomarkers and immune state diagnostics that are informative about the physiological and immune status of a person and define the immunity markers that correlate with a state of protective immunity to particular diseases.  Such information could be used as a decision-support tool for the design and evaluation of new or improved vaccines.

Roadblock

Despite years of effort, we currently have no reliable biomarkers for assessing disease states in the developing world.  We do not know enough about the immunological profiles of either immunized or non-immunized persons that would allow us to predict unsatisfactory responses to a vaccine; to distinguish symptomatic from asymptomatic infection; or, in the case of chronic infections or parasitic diseases, to correlate the presence of particular biomarkers with protection.  During clinical trials of a new vaccine, it would be particularly helpful to have authentic correlates of protection.

Challenge

To define biomarkers and biomarker signatures for assessing disease states and predicting protective immunity and other outcomes.

Potential Benefits

  • Establishment of correlates of protective immunity that can be used in guiding vaccine development and in epidemiological evaluation of the long term impact of control measures
  • Establishment of novel diagnostic and prognostic tools for public health assessment

Priority Areas

  • HIV
  • Malaria
  • Tuberculosis
  • Acute Respiratory Infections

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.