About this Research Topic
In the context of infectious diseases, the classical dogma of vaccination is to train the immune system to recognize a pathogen, with the aim of quickly neutralizing the invading pathogen when the host re-encounters the same, or related, microbes. In this scenario, an infection will be mimicked via the administration of an inactivated or attenuated form, of part of the pathogen. In the context of cancer, vaccination has mainly therapeutic purposes, with the aim of inducing immune responses that target tumor cells. For vaccination to be effective in both infectious disease and cancer therapies, the induction of adaptive immune responses are crucial. Consequently, traditionally there has been a strong research focus on studying B- and T- cell responses in vaccination. However, it has become clear that innate immune cells play a crucial role in shaping qualitative long-lasting adaptive immune responses in vaccination.
Innate immune cells are important for host defense; tissue development and remodeling; and homeostasis. They play essential roles in the establishment of protective immune responses at the various entry sites of our body. The uptake and transport of antigen to draining lymph nodes, as well as antigen presentation, are crucial tasks required for the induction of adaptive immune responses. These processes are typically carried out by migrating and lymph node- resident dendritic cells, monocytes and macrophages. In addition, innate immune cells can contribute to the recruitment of adaptive immune cells to the site of infection via the secretion of chemokines and cytokines.
Adjuvants are used in vaccination strategies to target and activate innate immune cells and can act as an antigen depot that promotes slow release and uptake by antigen presenting cells. Recently, increasing evidence indicates that adaptive immune mechanisms, such as non-neutralizing antibodies, may rely on innate effector cells for providing protection through Fc receptor-mediated mechanisms such as antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent phagocytosis.
Different types of innate immune cells are targeted depending on the vaccine platform, route of vaccination, and vaccine formulation. Further research into (i) how the innate immune system is activated and regulated by vaccines and/or adjuvants and (ii) how innate and adaptive immune cells work together cooperatively will greatly benefit the development of modern vaccinology.
In this Research Topic, we aim to bring together opinions, reports on novel research, and articles that review the current state of the art on the many roles that innate immune cells can play in the context of vaccination. We welcome the submission of Original Research, Reviews, Mini-Reviews, Opinion and Perspective articles covering the following sub-topics:
1. Importance of innate immune cells for the initiation of protective vaccine responses.
2. Vaccine adjuvants that rely on the functions and responses of innate immune cells.
3. Delivery systems and vaccine vectors that target innate immune cells.
4. Role of innate immune cells in tissue-specific immunity related to vaccination.
5. Innate immune cells as correlates of protection / vaccine efficacy.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.