Author(s): Curtiss R
This review focuses on how infectious diseases and their prevention and control by development of vaccines and widespread vaccination has shaped evolution of human civilization and of the animals and plants that humans depend on for food, labor and companionship. After describing major infectious diseases and the current status for control by vaccination, the barriers to infection and the attributes of innate and acquired immunity contributing to control are discussed. The evolution in types of vaccines is presented in the context of developing technologies and in improving adjuvants to engender enhanced vaccine efficacy. The special concerns and needs in vaccine design and development are discussed in dealing with epidemics/pandemics with special emphasis on influenza and current global problems in vaccine delivery.