Anthrax vaccines: past, present and future

Vaccine. 1991 Aug;9(8):533-9. doi: 10.1016/0264-410x(91)90237-z.


Most livestock vaccines in use throughout the world today for immunization against anthrax are derivatives of the live spore vaccine formulated by Sterne in 1937 and still use descendants of his strain 34F2. Credit belongs to this formulation for effective control in many countries with considerable reduction, sometimes complete elimination, of the disease in animals and, since man generally acquires it from livestock, in man also. However, there are some contraindications of its use and situations in which it cannot be easily administered, and room for development of a successor is discussed. The human vaccines, formulated for at-risk occupations and situations, date from the 1950s (UK vaccine) and 1960s (US vaccine). The rather greater need for improvement of these as compared with the veterinary vaccine stimulated valuable research during the 1980s which has led to a number of promising candidate alternatives for the future.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthrax / epidemiology
  • Anthrax / prevention & control*
  • Anthrax / veterinary
  • Bacillus anthracis / immunology*
  • Bacterial Vaccines* / history
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Spores, Bacterial / immunology
  • USSR
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vaccines, Attenuated


  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Attenuated