Arguably, vaccination represents the single most effective medical intervention ever developed. Yet, vaccines have failed to provide any or adequate protection against some of the most significant global diseases. The pathogens responsible for these vaccine-recalcitrant diseases have properties that allow them to evade immune surveillance and misdirect or eliminate the immune response. However, genomic and systems biology tools, novel adjuvants and delivery systems, and refined molecular insight into protective immunity have started to redefine the landscape, and results from recent efficacy trials of HIV and malaria vaccines have instilled hope that another golden age of vaccines may be on the horizon.
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