Affiliation: Department of Pediatrics, Hainan Branch of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Sanya, Hainan 572013, P.R. China.
The immune system plays an essential role in the pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. Immunoinfectomics is an emerging field that addresses the interface between the host immune system and pathogens, and studies immunomes and infectomes (immunoinfectomes). Immune responses induced by microbial infections are complex phenomena that supervene on the levels of genomes, and as a result, infection and immunity ultimately depend on immunoinfectomes. The computational and mathematical approaches have shown practical benefits to convert all these complex data into sophisticated computer models of cellular gene and protein networks. The availability of the above methods has resulted in exciting new progress in the discovery and development of drugs and vaccines against infectious diseases with immunoinfectomic approaches. It has been demonstrated that only one single variable domain antibody fragment, referred to as VHH (variable heavy chain antibody) or nanobody, can interact with antigens. Nanobodies display several characteristics superior to the conventional antibodies, including their non-immunogenicity and high thermal and chemical stability. These characteristics make nanobodies strong candidates as targeting agents for infectious diseases. Recently, tremendous progress has been made in immune epitope mapping and vaccine candidate identification through the use of the immunoinfectomic approaches. These omic approaches provide powerful tools for advances in system biology of microbial infections and the discovery of novel antimicrobial agents.