Unit Clinical Pharmacology (EKLiP)

Medical background of the project

The responses of the immune system to viral infections are highly complex and, despite great advances in immunology, only partially understood. Many findings are based to a large extent on studies with inbred mouse strains. So far, little is known about the reasons why human individuals react differently to the same virus or the same viral vaccine.

This question will be investigated in a cohort of individuals in whom the respective responses to a virus are analyzed from the onset of the infection in a standardized procedure. As a model system for viral infection, a live-attenuated vaccine is used to infect individuals with an attenuated virus in order to achieve an active immunization and thus protection against the pathogen.

To this end, a prospective observational cohort study was initiated within the Clinical Pharmacology Unit. In this study, early responses of the innate immunity and specific reactions of the adaptive immune system to the live-attenuated yellow fever vaccine will be examined in detail in adults during the first four weeks after vaccination and correlated with the genotypes of the vaccinated individuals.

Figure: Concept of the study. Source: EKLiP, LMU

Project objective

The objective of this project is to characterize the immune response in a large number of individuals after yellow fever vaccination (live-attenuated vaccine YF-17D) and the simultaneous analysis of the genetic variations in the individual subjects. For this purpose, 250 subjects will be recruited and the genetic information (genotype) will be correlated with the individual immune response (phenotype) after viral infection. This approach is designed to identify genetic or phenotypic biomarkers that could predict the efficacy of yellow fever vaccination and may also apply to predicting the individual immune responses against other viruses.