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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2013 Jun;12(6):661-76. doi: 10.1586/erv.13.46.

Recent advances in designing an effective vaccine to prevent cytomegalovirus-associated clinical diseases.

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  • 1Centre for Immunotherapy and Vaccine Development, Department of Immunology, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, 300 Herston Road, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia.


It is now well over a decade since the US Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences assigned the highest priority for a vaccine to prevent congenital human CMV infection, which was subsequently endorsed by the US National Vaccine Program Office. In spite of extensive efforts over many years, successful licensure of a CMV vaccine formulation remains elusive. While the understanding of immune regulation of CMV infection in healthy virus carriers and diseased patients has dramatically improved, traditional vaccine development programs have failed to exploit this knowledge. Until recently, most efforts have concentrated on designing vaccine formulations that block CMV infection through neutralizing antibodies. However, studies carried out in various disease settings, especially in transplant patients, have clearly emphasized the importance of cellular immunity and it is indeed encouraging to see that recent CMV vaccine development programs have started to incorporate this arm of the immune system. A number of new vaccine candidates have been found to be effective in preclinical studies, and are able to induce CMV-specific immune responses in clinical studies, although firm evidence for long-term efficacy is not yet available. For successful implementation of these vaccines in clinical settings, it will be important to demonstrate that the vaccine can induce effective levels of immunity for prevention of transmission of viral infection from mother to unborn baby and thus reduce CMV-related pathogenesis. For transplant recipients, vaccine strategies should be aimed at the induction of immunity that restricts viral reactivation and limits development of disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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