The relationship between the development of the immune system and the microbiome has long been the subject research, and many scientists believe that a healthy microbiome is essential to a strong immune system. This type of research is normally performed on infants and toddlers because those years are the most critical for the immune system. It is no surprise, that many scientists feel the microbiome may also be influencing how the immune system responds to vaccines, and a new review in Trends in Immunology presents many ways in which the microbiome has already been linked to vaccine effectiveness, as well as other mechanisms by which the microbiome could be impacting vaccine effectiveness. The article also calls for more research to be performed on this link.
The review comments on studies which show that oral vaccines are not as effective in areas of the world where malnutrition is common, and the review suggests the microbiome to be the cause. The authors suggest that new adjuvants could take advantage of the microbiome, and even suggest the use of microbiome derived molecules for use in adjuvants.