The field of vaccines and vaccinology has seen remarkable progress during the past 20 years. Many vaccines, however, still need to be improved, either because the protection they provide is relatively short-lived and would greatly benefit from the development of booster formulations (as is the case for tuberculosis), or because they only cover part of the many serotypes of the pathogen that causes the disease (rotaviruses, papillomaviruses, or Streptococcus pneumoniae). In addition, still many diseases lack a proper preventive vaccine, such as AIDS, hepatitis C, malaria, viral pneumonias, croup and bronchiolitis, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, Staphylococcus aureus, groups A and B Streptococcus, Shigellas and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, to only name a few. These are the current targets of vaccines under development, a great many of which will hopefully reach the market within the coming 10 years. The development of preventive vaccines against chronic diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis C will probably require more time, due to basic science complexities to be overcome first. It is likely that the future will also see an emphasis on therapeutic vaccines targeted against noninfectious diseases such as cancers (lung, skin, prostate, etc) and metabolic or neurologic diseases (atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease). This review will focus on examples of preventive vaccines under development that target infectious diseases with a heavy global burden on public health.
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