About this Research Topic
Immunological memory is a mechanism to protect us against reinfection and forms the basis of successful preventative vaccines against pathogenic infections. The longevity of the immune response is mainly established and maintained by so-called adaptive immune components, such as B and T lymphocytes. In recent years, there have been significant advances in our understanding of how immunological memory is established and how the longevity of vaccine - or infection- induced immunity is maintained, using several experimental models and clinical studies.
However, seminal questions regarding the regulation of immune persistence following infections and vaccinations remain to be answered. For example, based on several important studies, it has been revealed that some infections and vaccines generate life-long immunity to antigens, while others last relatively a short period, sometimes less than a year. To explain this, further studies are warranted that investigate: the factors determining the magnitude and anatomical localization of memory precursor lymphocytes, the mechanisms controlling the maintenance of long-lived immune cells, and the durability of antigen-specific immunity depending on antigen types or vaccine platforms. Further, during this COVID-19 era, it is of interest to understand the longevity of protective immunity to a newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccines utilizing novel platforms, including viral vector-based and gene-based vaccines.
In this Research Topic, emphasis will be placed on the recent scientific advancements as to the mechanisms governing the longevity of infection/vaccine-induced T cell and antibody responses, as well as the reports characterizing the immunological memory triggered by viral infections and vaccines, including COVID-19 and other pathogens.
We welcome the submission and contribution of Original Research, Review, Mini-review, and Perspective articles related to, but not limited to, the following areas:
• Fate determinants on the differentiation of long-lived plasma cells, memory B and T cells
• Factors influencing the maintenance of long-lived plasma cells, memory B and T cells – including niche and anatomical distribution
• Heterogeneity of antibody and T cell memory to virus infection and vaccination
• Quantitative and qualitative analyses of germinal center reaction and follicular helper T cells in infection and vaccination
• Contributions of long-lived plasma cells and memory B cells for the persistence of protective antibody response
• Comparative analyses of safety, potency, breadth, and duration of immune responses created by various vaccine platforms
• Rational vaccine design that can improve the longevity of protective immunity
• Understanding of biology and protective roles of memory T and B cells to viral infections including the SARS-CoV-2
Dr. Han is an employee and shareholder of Merck and Co., which is involved in developing therapeutics and vaccines. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests in relation to the Research Topic theme.
Keywords: immunological memory, T cell, antibody, B cell, plasma cell, vaccine, infection
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