Alternative Routes of Immunization for Prevention of Infectious Diseases: A New Paradigm for the 21st Century
The prevention of infectious diseases by the use of vaccines represents one of medicine's greatest triumphs during the 20th century. This era has witnessed the global eradication of smallpox as a result of Jennerian cowpox vaccination, the elimination of paralytic poliomyelitis from the western hemisphere, and within 5-10 years the anticipated eradication of poliomyelitis worldwide as a result of the poliovirus vaccines. Next slated for worldwide eradication is measles, the great killer of infants and children, which each year extracts a global mortality of one million victims. Throughout the 20th century the percutaneous (i.e., subcutaneous or intramuscular) route has almost exclusively been the preferred way to administer vaccines. However, as a result of several important scientific discoveries made during the 20th century, including new tissue-culturing techniques, the development of recombinant DNA technology, and genetic sequencing, a whole new generation of tailor-made modern vaccines has become available, including DNA vaccines and transgenic plant vaccines. Moreover, it became apparent that alternative routes of administration of vaccines, such as by aerosol immunization and transcutaneous skin patches, might be more appropriate and more effective than immunization via the parenteral route. This paper describes some of the recent advances relating to alternative methods of immunization and will focus primarily on the development and use of respiratory aerosolized vaccines.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2001-05-01
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- Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.
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