Project: Immune responses in rural to urban gradient: identifying geographical footprints of the immune system to improve vaccine development

Acronym Geographical differences in the immune response (Reference Number: TMA2016CDF-1595)
Duration 01/07/2018 - 30/06/2021
Project Topic Critical to vaccine efficacy is the induction of a strong and long-lasting immune response. As the immune system is central to the success of a vaccine and because of the recent indications that strong geographical differences may define immunological footprints, this will need to form an integral part of any serious attempt for vaccine development. This project aims to understand the role of the environment in the immune response relevant for vaccines. To this end, profile of the immune cells and the innate immune response to vaccine adjuvants is being investigated in healthy individuals from rural and urban settings in Africa as well as in Europeans. Using mass cytometry and RNA sequencing, cytokines responses, cell signalling and metabolism pathways as well as the transcriptional profile immune cells will be characterised. Within this project, the Department of Immunology of Cheikh Anta Diop University Hospital of Dakar (UCAD), is collaborating with the Institute of Heath Research, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training (IRESSEF) and the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). So far, we conducted the following actions: Identification of study sites: rural, semi-urban and urban settings in Senegal and The Netherlands Sample collection at all the sites Optimisation of immunology methods to be used Training in mass cytometry and data analysis Analysis of samples with mass cytometry after stimulation with vaccine adjuvants Development of flow cytometry panels Establishment of SOPs. Although we have not yet analysed data generated so far, the project has been presented at the Summer School course and meeting at Leiden University. We have also been given the opportunity to present our work at the Grand Challenges annual meeting that will be held in Addis Ababa in October 2019. When analysed, data collected may contribute to understanding the environmental impact on immune response to vaccine components.
Network EDCTP2
Call Career Development Fellowships 2016

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar Coordinator Senegal