During life the body is challenged by a wide variety of infectious agents. To combat and constrain infections with these agents the immune system uses a complex network of defence mechanisms. One of these is the ability to respond in a specific way (adaptive innnunity) to unique stmctures (antigens) of the agent or its products. Interestingly, many agents have developed ways to escape from, or suppress specific and non-specific immune effector mechanisms. The principle of vaccination, which was introduced more than 200 years ago by Edward Jenner (Willis, 1997), utilizes the ability of the immune system to develop a specific immune and/or memory response, before the body is exposed to the pathogen, thereby mimicking specific immunity induced by infection.

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Bayer BY, Beun de Ronde BV, BioMerieux Benelux BY, Biotrading Benelux BY, EUR Rotterdam, Eurovalid-Atihmius BY, ID-OLO, Intervet, Adviesburo Ka & Ko, Sigma-Aldrich, RIVM, TNO companies.
A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Claassen, I. (1998, December 9). Immunogenic presentation of viral and bacterial antigens: iscom and OMV as a basis for new vaccines. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/17011