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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2002 Dec;2(8):895-905.

Reverse vaccinology: a genome-based approach for vaccine development.

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IRIS, Chiron SPA, Via Fiorentina 1, 53100 Siena, Italy.


During the last century several approaches have been followed for the development of vaccines. These include live-attenuated viruses and bacteria, killed microorganisms and the subunit vaccines [1]. With the introduction of recombinant DNA technologies, new approaches have been exploited for vaccine manufacturing. However, the major problem remains the rapid identification of highly immunogenic and protective antigens suitable for vaccine development, which still relies on standard biochemical and microbiological techniques. The advent of genomics has greatly contributed to providing a new impulse to the microbial field. The complete genomic sequence of a human pathogen represents a new unexploited field, to be used for the design of novel vaccines and antimicrobial drugs. In the case of meningococcus B, four decades of continuous efforts, using conventional technologies of purifying antigens from the microorganism, had not been sufficient to deliver an effective and universal vaccine. It was therefore decided to obtain the genomic sequence of serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis (MenB) and use this information to identify vaccine candidates. This approach was named "reverse vaccinology"[2].

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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