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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 237043, 17 pages
Review Article

The Impact of “Omic” and Imaging Technologies on Assessing the Host Immune Response to Biodefence Agents

1Biodefence and PreClinical Evaluation Group, Public Health England (PHE), Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 3NU, UK
2Biomedical Sciences Department, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4 0JQ, UK

Received 15 April 2014; Revised 23 July 2014; Accepted 5 August 2014; Published 16 September 2014

Academic Editor: Louise Pitt

Copyright © 2014. British Crown Copyright. Published with the permission of the controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Understanding the interactions between host and pathogen is important for the development and assessment of medical countermeasures to infectious agents, including potential biodefence pathogens such as Bacillus anthracis, Ebola virus, and Francisella tularensis. This review focuses on technological advances which allow this interaction to be studied in much greater detail. Namely, the use of “omic” technologies (next generation sequencing, DNA, and protein microarrays) for dissecting the underlying host response to infection at the molecular level; optical imaging techniques (flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy) for assessing cellular responses to infection; and biophotonic imaging for visualising the infectious disease process. All of these technologies hold great promise for important breakthroughs in the rational development of vaccines and therapeutics for biodefence agents.