Vaccines are one of the greatest public health successes; yet, due to the empirical nature of vaccine design, we have an incomplete understanding of how the genes and proteins induced by vaccines contribute to the development of both protective innate and adaptive immune responses. While the advent of genomics has enabled new vaccine development and facilitated understanding of the immune response, proteomics identifies potentially new vaccine antigens with increasing speed and sensitivity. In addition, as proteomics is complementary to transcriptomic approaches, a combination of both approaches provides a more comprehensive view of the immune response after vaccination via systems vaccinology. This review details the advances that proteomic strategies have made in vaccine development and reviews how proteomics contributes to the development of a more complete understanding of human vaccines and immune responses.
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