Will Host Genetics Affect the Response to SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines? Historical Precedents
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Recent progress in genomics and bioinformatics technologies have allowed for the emergence of immunogenomics field. This intersection of immunology and genetics has broadened our understanding of how the immune system responds to infection and vaccination. While the immunogenetic basis of the huge clinical variability in response to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is currently being extensively studied, the host genetic determinants of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines remain largely unknown. Previous reports evidenced that vaccines may not protect all populations or individuals equally, due to multiple host- and vaccine-specific factors. Several studies on vaccine response to measles, rubella, hepatitis B, smallpox, and influenza highlighted the contribution of genetic mutations or polymorphisms in modulating the innate and adaptive immunity following vaccination. Specifically, genetic variants in genes encoding virus receptors, antigen presentation, cytokine production, or related to immune cells activation and differentiation could influence how an individual responds to vaccination. Although such knowledge could be utilized to generate personalized vaccine strategies to optimize the vaccine response, studies in this filed are still scarce. Here, we briefly summarize the scientific literature related to the immunogenetic determinants of vaccine-induced immunity, highlighting the possible role of host genetics in response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines as well.