Dr Bali Pulendran and colleagues from Emery University, Georgia, present their findings in Nature Immunology.
Using a systems biology approach, the researchers were able to identify molecular signatures that appeared in health adults after vaccines had been administered.
Dr Pulendran and his team found that these early molecular signatures correlated with and could be used to predict later antibody levels.
The researchers said: 'Our data have demonstrated that such a systems biology approach can indeed be used to identify predictive signatures but also to obtain new insights about the immunological mechanisms involved.'
Dr Pulendran and his team believe these early readouts could be used to accurately predict the efficacy of subsequent immune responses to influenza over several years.
The researchers also showed that it would be feasible to include tests for post-vaccination molecular signatures on a ‘chip’ that could be used to predict the immunogenicity of vaccines.