[Quo vadis in vaccines: From the empirical approach to the new wave of technology]

Rev Esp Geriatr Gerontol. May-Jun 2020;55(3):160-168. doi: 10.1016/j.regg.2019.09.001. Epub 2020 Feb 1.
[Article in Spanish]


The development of vaccines is a multifactorial process that has evolved and expanded, particularly over the last decades. The search for immunogenic vaccines that are also acceptably safe and tolerable enacted continuous technological advances in this field. In this regard, the technology applied to vaccines can historically be divided into 3 approaches: the empirical approach, the modern approach, and the new technological wave. The empirical approach for vaccine development includes whole micro-organisms, attenuation, inactivation, cell cultures and sub-unit vaccines. The modern approach contributed to leaps and bounds to vaccine development using chemical conjugation, as well as recombinant protein DNA technology and reverse vaccinology. Lastly, the new technological wave includes, among others, bioconjugation, viral vectors, synthetic biology, self-amplification of messenger RNA, generalized modules for membrane antigens, structural vaccinology and the new adjuvants.

Keywords: Adjuvants; Adyuvantes; Innovación; Innovation; New technologies; Nuevas tecnologías; Reverse vaccinology; Vaccine; Vacuna; Vacunología inversa.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / genetics*
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / history
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Conjugation, Genetic
  • Drug Development / methods*
  • Drug Development / trends
  • Genetic Vectors
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Vaccination / classification
  • Vaccination / history
  • Vaccination / trends
  • Vaccines / genetics*
  • Vaccines / history
  • Vaccines / immunology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Vaccines