A downside of successful vaccines

A few weeks back during the whole Egnor kerfuffle, I mentioned how important an understanding of evolutionary biology was to many areas of epidemiology, and specifically, for vaccine development and implementation. As one example, I brought up the phenomenon of serotype replacement, which can occur due to the use of what are called “multi-valent vaccines.” Essentially, these vaccines include strains of pathogens which are either the most common, or the most likely to cause disease–thereby protecting individuals from infection with these specific serotypes, but not making the recipient immune to infection with other strains that aren’t included in the vaccine formulation. The concern is, then, that once those types are reduced in the population via vaccination, other serotypes can come along and fill the niche that they’ve vacated. A recent story by Helen Branswell notes that this is exactly what’s happening with pneumococci:

(Continued at Aetiology)

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Tara Smith published on May 1, 2007 12:34 PM.

Pandanapped! was the previous entry in this blog.

Twisty maze of duck oviducts is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.361

Site Meter