Skip to Main Content

We have a new app!

Take the Access library with you wherever you go—easy access to books, videos, images, podcasts, personalized features, and more.

Download the Access App here: iOS and Android



ACIP: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

ADCC: antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity

AID: activation-induced cytidine deaminase

aP: acellular pertussis

APC: antigen-presenting cell

ASD: autism spectrum disorder

AVA: anthrax vaccine adsorbed

BCG: bacille Calmette-Guérin

BCR: B cell receptor

CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CoP: correlate of protection

CRM: cross-reactive material

DTaP: diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis

DTP: diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis

EMA: European Medicines Agency

Fab: fragment, antigen-binding

Fc: fragment crystallizable

GBS: Guillian-Barré syndrome

H1N1: hemagglutinin type 1 and neuraminidase type 1

H2N2: hemagglutinin type 2 and neuraminidase type 2

H3N2: hemagglutinin type 3 and neuraminidase type 2

HA: hemagglutinin

HbOC: Haemophilus influenzae type b oligosaccharide conjugate

Hib: Haemophilus influenzae type b

HIV: human immunodeficiency virus

HPV: human papillomavirus

IgG: immunoglobulin, class G

IIV: inactivated influenza vaccine

IOM: Institute of Medicine

IPV: inactivated poliovirus (vaccine)

JE: Japanese encephalitis

JE-MB: Japanese encephalitis mouse brain

JE-VC: Japanese encephalitis Vero cell

mCoP: mechanistic correlates of protection

MCV4: meningococcal vaccine 4

MeV: measles virus

MMR: measles-mumps-rubella

MMRV: measles-mumps-rubella-varicella

MVA: modified vaccinia Ankara

NA: neuraminidase

nCoP: nonmechanistic correlates of protection

PCV13: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 13 valent

PRP: polyribosylribitol phosphate

PRP-OMPC: polyribosylribitol phosphate outer membrane protein conjugate

PRP-T: polyribosylribitol phosphate tetanus

RAG: recombination-activating gene

RSV: respiratory syncytial virus

SAE: serious adverse event

SAGE: Strategic Advisory Group of Experts

SIDS: sudden infant death syndrome

TB: Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Td: tetanus toxoid and reduced diphtheria toxoid

Tdap: tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, acellular pertussis

VDJ: variable, diversity, joining

VLP: virus-like particle

VZV: varicella zoster virus

WHO: World Health Organization


The historical impact of infectious diseases is evident in the high mortality rates in young children and adults and the disruption that these diseases have caused in emerging societies. The rise of civilization in conjunction with the domestication of plants and animals permitted people to live in denser communities with each other and with their animals. Such proximity provided ideal breeding grounds for infectious pathogens, and their spread resulted in epidemics throughout the world. As people began to question the underlying causes of disease and the apparent protection to reinfection afforded to some survivors of a disease, ideas of immunity and disease prevention were born, apparently as early as the 5th century.

The concept of immunity goes back at least to the 17th century when emperor K’ang of China documented his practice of variolation, or inoculation, of his troops and his own children with smallpox to confer protection from the disease (Hopkins, 2002). Variolation involved taking liquid from a smallpox pustule of an infected patient, cutting the skin of an uninfected person, and then introducing the inoculum. Records from the 18th century note that Africans brought to the U.S. as slaves bore scars from smallpox variolation and were under the belief that they were immune to the disease. Variolation against smallpox was also reported by Lady Mary Montagu during her time in ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.