[History and principles of vaccination]

Rev Mal Respir. 2019 Jan;36(1):74-81. doi: 10.1016/j.rmr.2018.02.015. Epub 2018 Dec 20.
[Article in French]


Introduction: Vaccination constitutes a major advance in the prevention of infectious diseases. The principle of vaccination is to induce protection against a pathogen by mimicking its natural interaction with the human immune system. The vaccine reduces the risk of complications and mortality following subsequent exposure to an infectious agent.

State of the art: In this review we recall the history of vaccination as well as the basic immunological principles underlying the composition of vaccines and the response to vaccination. In this way, vaccines induce the immune system to produce an immunological memory based on T and B lymphocytes in order to produce a rapid and effective response to exposure to the targeted pathogen.

Outlook: The improvement of existing vaccines and the discovery of new vaccines requires an understanding of the immunological principles of vaccination. Great challenges remain, particularly in terms of target pathogens for future vaccine candidates and also the acceptance of vaccination.

Conclusion: Understanding the principles of vaccination allows development of vaccines and the control of infectious diseases.

Keywords: Immunologie; Immunology; Principes; Principles; Réponse vaccinale; Vaccin; Vaccine; Vaccine response.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Vaccination / history*
  • Vaccination / methods
  • Vaccines / history
  • Vaccines / immunology*


  • Vaccines