Host factors impact vaccine efficacy: Implications for seasonal and universal influenza vaccine programs

Santosh Dhakal, Sabra L. Kleina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Influenza is a global public health problem. Current seasonal influenza vaccines have highly variable efficacy, and thus attempts to develop broadly protective universal influenza vaccines with durable protection are under way. While much attention is given to the virus-related factors contributing to inconsistent vaccine responses, host-associated factors are often neglected. Growing evidences suggest that host factors including age, biological sex, pregnancy, and immune history play important roles as modifiers of influenza virus vaccine efficacy. We hypothesize that host genetics, the hormonal milieu, and gut microbiota contribute to host-related differences in influenza virus vaccine efficacy. This review highlights the current insights and future perspectives into host-specific factors that impact influenza vaccine-induced immunity and protection. Consideration of the host factors that affect influenza vaccine-induced immunity might improve influenza vaccines by providing empirical evidence for optimizing or even personalizing vaccine type, dose, and use of adjuvants for current seasonal and future universal influenza vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00797-19
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2019


  • Aging
  • Microbiota
  • Obesity
  • Pandemic
  • Pregnancy
  • Seasonal influenza
  • Sex difference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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