Will there be microorganism-based vaccines in the future?
Commensal flora not only protects mucosa from pathogens but it also modulates the quality and quantity of systemic innate and adaptive immune responses. As a result, could it be the basis for preventative and even therapeutic vaccines? This is the question asked by an American researcher in the review Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology. The possibility of such an approach requires further exploring the mechanisms underlying the regulation of the immune system by the microbiota as well as characterizing the bacteria or bacteria groups that support this function.It will then be necessary to obtain specific and lasting immune responses in animals by using components of the human microbiota. Evidence is also mounting on the impact of the microbiota in the control of tumour growth. Selecting the bacteria that would stimulate immune response against tumors and its microenvironment is also an interesting approach. While the author is well aware that this is all speculation at this stage, he notes that continuing research in this direction will certainly open up new prospects that are difficult to foresee at the current time.
Littman DR. Do the Microbiota Influence Vaccines and Protective Immunity to Pathogens? If So, Is There Potential for Efficacious Microbiota-Based Vaccines? Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2017 Apr 21. pii: a029355. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28432131