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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 2006;28(1): 41-46.
New Vaccine Technology for Control of Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases.
Jin Han Kang
Department of Pediatrics, The Catholic University of Korea.kjhan@olmh.cuk.ac.kr
Abstract
Although the development of vaccines has been one of the most important contributions of immunology to medicine and public health, and despite vaccination having been proven as the most effective and cheapest medical practice to prevent infectious diseases, infectious diseases still remain the main cause of human deaths and new infectious diseases continue to emerge. Furthermore, we face an unprecedented succession of new pathogens able to jump species barriers and infect humans, even as we continue to be frustrated in our efforts to control devastating diseases such as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis. Hence the need to develop new vaccines and improve existing vaccines. Other challenges for scientists include rapid identification and response to emerging diseases and successful intervention in re-emerging infectious diseases. Remarkable progress in molecular biology and biotechnology is making possible the development and improvement of new and old vaccines. Recombinant DNA technology, genetic attenuation of viral and bacterial pathogens and their use as vectors for heterologous proteins, naked DNA vaccines and peptide vaccines represent the most popular approaches hitherto adopted. Reverse genetics and reverse vaccinology are now used to investigate new vaccines. Genome-based reverse vaccinology is very useful and a major tool in vaccine development. The rapid identification of the genome sequence to new pathogens enables the speedy development of diagnostic tools as well as recombinant expression of targets for vaccine. Strengthening research and development in vaccines, including international cooperation, may be the most effective next step to control and prevent infectious diseases worldwide.
Keywords: Vaccine biotechnology; Emerging infectious disease; Re-emerging infectious disease


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