Vaccination is one of the most efficacious public health interventions1 and has been increasingly used to combat non-infectious diseases. Mechanisms underlying vaccine responses overlap with those regulating immune responses in health and disease. Therefore, an understanding of mechanisms underpinning these responses will have broad implications. Variation in immune response genes contributes to impaired vaccine responses 2-4. Understanding the contribution of genetic variants to vaccine responses is likely to be particularly important in early life given the generalized functional immaturity of the immune system in infants and the highly variable kinetics of its maturation over the first few years of life 5-7. However, studies of genetic influences on early childhood vaccine responses are scarce. Since a number of genes from several pathways are likely to be important, a targeted approach is necessary. This thesis explored the effects and interactions of genes associated with atopy, as atopy, or the genetic risk for it, has been associated with modulation of early childhood vaccine responses. This thesis aimed to: 1) investigate genetic variants associated with atopy on early childhood vaccine responses; 2) examine interactions between these genetic variants and non-genetic factors; 3) approach developmental genetic influences on genetic effects and their interactions; and 4) extend findings on vaccine responses to other immunological phenotypes and disease outcomes.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2008|