Science Translational Medicine
05 February 2020 Vol 12, Issue 529
Immune system development varies according to age, location, and anemia in African children
By Danika L. Hill, Edward J. Carr, Tobias Rutishauser, Gemma Moncunill, Joseph J. Campo, Silvia Innocentin, Maxmillian Mpina, Augusto Nhabomba, Anneth Tumbo, Chenjerai Jairoce, Henriëtte A. Moll, Menno C. van Zelm, Carlota Dobaño, Claudia Daubenberger, Michelle A. Linterman
Science Translational Medicine05 Feb 2020 Restricted Access
A global immune landscape
Systems biology approaches to the immune system have revealed specific phenotypes associated with disease or response to vaccination. However, these studies are concentrated in certain areas of the world, and the findings may not apply globally. Hill et al. studied longitudinal blood samples from a large malaria vaccine trial conducted in different African countries. They saw country-specific trajectories of immune development that influenced vaccine responses. Anemic children showed dampened adaptive immune responses. Follow-up experiments with B cells in vitro revealed that iron has direct effects on B cell differentiation. These results show that geographic location has an important influence on immune development.