Can successful vaccines teach us how to induce efficient protective immune responses?

Nat Med. 2005 Apr;11(4 Suppl):S54-62. doi: 10.1038/nm1216.


Some recently introduced vaccines that have excellent efficacy records have been developed without a clear understanding of their mechanism of protection. In fact, successful vaccines have often emerged out of empirical observations and have only rarely been the result of a rational use of the continuously increasing immunological knowledge available to scientists. However, a posteriori deciphering of the biological bases for the efficacy of successful vaccines should be an essential component of research efforts directed at the development of new vaccines for the most challenging infectious diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies / blood
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Antigenic Variation
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Infant
  • Vaccines / immunology*


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens
  • Vaccines