Special Issue "Immune Ontogeny and Vaccination in Early Life"

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X). This special issue belongs to the section "Pathogens-host Immune Interface".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 February 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Nabila Seddiki
Guest Editor
INSERM and University of Paris-Est Créteil, 61 Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94000 Créteil, France
Interests: T cells; Tregs; Tfh; vaccines; innate and adaptive immunity; infectious diseases; T cell ontogeny
Prof. Dr. Roger Le Grand
Guest Editor
Center for Immunology of Viral, Auto-immune, Hematological and Bacterial diseases, UMR1184, IDMIT Department, Université Paris-Saclay, Inserm, CEA, France
Interests: NHP; HIV; infectious diseases; innate and adaptive immunity; vaccinology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The development of the immune system needs a number of changes that occur during the first years of life. The neonatal immune system is exposed to a large number of previously unseen antigens. Newborn children, especially preterm, are susceptible to infections because of the immaturity of their immune system. Although there is clear evidence now that several factors, including microbial exposure, are necessary for shaping immunity, we still need to understand the basis of this and consequently be able to protect our children by developing better treatments and efficacious vaccines tailored to their immune systems. A large number of great studies have explored these avenues. However, the field is still lacking a good animal model to get insights into immune ontogeny in early life and development of immune-mediated diseases later in life. For us, the non-human primate (NHP) model is a very good candidate to study immune development early in life and to monitor human immune systems in the most comprehensive way, encompassing its’ impact on emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and vaccinology but also its close interaction with microbiota. We are currently establishing a pediatric immunology program (PIP) where the NHP will be essential and central to developing comprehensive studies that will explore immune ontogeny, microbiome, vaccination, transfer of maternal immunology, system immunology, and serology.

The goal of this Research Topic is to gather several known experts in the field of pediatric immunology, infectious diseases, and vaccinology to give an update on their latest research studies that are relevant to early life newborns and immune-mediated diseases later in life, and to develop a method to use the NHP model in the most comprehensive way to address important/remaining questions in the field.

Dr. Nabila Seddiki
Prof. Dr. Roger Le Grand
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • vaccines
  • innate and adaptive immunity
  • infectious diseases
  • T cell ontogeny
  • early-life immunity
  • immune system development

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Impact of COVID-19 on Immunization Services for Maternal and Infant Vaccines: Results of a Survey Conducted by Imprint—The Immunising Pregnant Women and Infants Network
Vaccines 2020, 8(3), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8030556 - 22 Sep 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic response has caused disruption to healthcare services globally, including to routine immunizations. To understand immunization service interruptions specifically for maternal, neonatal and infant vaccines, we captured the local experiences of members of the Immunising Pregnant Women and Infants Network (IMPRINT) [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic response has caused disruption to healthcare services globally, including to routine immunizations. To understand immunization service interruptions specifically for maternal, neonatal and infant vaccines, we captured the local experiences of members of the Immunising Pregnant Women and Infants Network (IMPRINT) by conducting an online survey over 2-weeks in April 2020. IMPRINT is a global network of clinicians and scientists working in maternal and neonatal vaccinology. The survey included discrete questions to quantify the extent of disruption as well as free-text options to explore the reasons behind reported disruptions. Of the 48 responses received, the majority (75%) were from low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). Of all respondents, 50% or more reported issues with vaccine delivery within their country. Thematic analysis identified three key themes behind immunization disruption: “access” issues, e.g., logistical barriers, “provider” issues, e.g., staff shortages and user “concern” about attending immunization appointments due to COVID-19 fear. Access and provider issues were more commonly reported by LMIC respondents. Overall, respondents reported uncertainty among parents and healthcare providers regarding routine immunization. We conclude that further quantification of routine vaccination disruption is needed, alongside health service prioritization, logistical support and targeted communication strategies to reinforce routine immunizations during the COVID-19 response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Ontogeny and Vaccination in Early Life)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Early Life Vaccination of Companion Animal Pets
Authors: W. Jean Dodds
Affiliation: Hemopet, 938 Stanford Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403, USA
Abstract: Development of the immune system of mammalian animal species parallels that of humans, and involves the innate and adaptive immune responses and the thymus. Consequently, issues surrounding the adequacy and safety of vaccinations to protect pet animals from their relevant infectious diseases need to be addressed just as they are for the humans. Pet animals, especially canines, also have unique needs because of the wide diversity of purebred and mixed breed types that vary greatly in size, type, temperament and even maturation rates. While recognizing this need is becoming more prevalent, current vaccination policy guidelines for companion animals are still only adhered to by about 40% of veterinarians worldwide. Vaccination of pets should no longer be considered as “one size fits all“.

Title: Cord blood-based approach to assess candidate vaccine adjuvants designed for neonates and infants
Authors: Daisuke Tokuhara
Affiliation: Department of Pediatrics, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan
Abstract: Neonates and infants are particularly susceptible to infections and outcomes tend to be severe. Vaccination is a key strategy for preventing infectious diseases, but the protective immunity achieved through vaccination typically is weaker in infants than in healthy adults. One possible explanation for the poor acquisition of vaccine-induced immunity in infants is that their innate immune response, represented by toll-like receptor (TLR), is immature. The current system for developing pediatric vaccines relies on the confirmation of their safety and effectiveness in studies involving the use of mature animals or adult humans. However, creating vaccines for neonates and infants requires an understanding of their uniquely immature innate immunity. Here we review current knowledge regarding the innate immune system of neonates and infants and the challenges in developing vaccine adjuvants for those children through analyses of cord blood.

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