Infections in infants (0–12 months of age) continue to be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality globally despite international childhood vaccination programs. Worldwide, 4 million infants younger than 6 months of age die annually due to infections. Many more become ill and require medical attention. Understanding immune system development in infants and the unique immune characteristics at this stage of life would provide a basis for designing better interventions for improving the health and mortality of this vulnerable population.
In FY 2011, NIAID solicited research proposals through the Infant Immune System: Implications for Vaccines and Response to Infections program. The goal of this program is to gain a better understanding of the development and maintenance of immune responses in infants during infection or in response to vaccination. The initiative supports research projects in human infants or in infant animal models. The knowledge gained will help improve the effectiveness of vaccines against common childhood diseases and will reduce the burden of infection-related death and illness among infants.
Last Updated January 08, 2013
Last Reviewed January 08, 2013