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In Defense of SelfHow the Immune System Really Works$
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William R. Clark

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336634

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336634.001.0001

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Vaccines: How They Work, Why They Sometimes Don't, and What We Can Do About It

Vaccines: How They Work, Why They Sometimes Don't, and What We Can Do About It

(p.91) 7 Vaccines: How They Work, Why They Sometimes Don't, and What We Can Do About It
In Defense of Self

William R. Clark

Oxford University Press

The realization that many diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms ultimately made possible the rational development of vaccines. Killed or disabled microbes, their components, or even their DNA can be used to induce a state of immunity to the viable organism itself. Vaccines were largely responsible for the dramatic increase in life expectancy achieved in the 20th century. This chapter looks at how vaccines are produced, and focuses on two current challenges for world health officials — developing effective vaccines for malaria and tuberculosis. Recent advances in our understanding of how the immune system works has led to exciting new possibilities for vaccine production, particularly DNA-based vaccines.

Keywords:   vaccines, malaria, tuberculosis, DNA vaccines

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