Innate immunity is an intrinsic baseline defense in cells, with its earliest origins in bacteria, and with key roles in defense against pathogens and in the activation of B and T cell responses. In mammals, the efficacy of innate immunity in initiating the cascades that lead to pathogen control results from the interplay of transcriptomic, epigenomic, and proteomic responses regulating immune activation and long-lived pathogen-specific memory responses. Recent studies suggest that intrinsic innate immunity is modulated by individual exposure histories – prior infections, vaccinations, and metabolites of microbial origin – and this promotes, or impairs, the development of efficacious innate immune responses. Understanding how environmental factors regulate innate immunity and boost protection from infection or response to vaccination could be a valuable tool for pandemic preparedness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-705
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • antiviral immunity
  • innate immunity
  • metabolites
  • microbiome


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