Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 75, Issue 5, pp 360–363 | Cite as

Antibacterial vaccines: impact of antigen handling and immune response

  • Stefan H. E. Kaufmann


 The emerging awareness that diseases caused by bacterial pathogens cannot be vanquished by chemotherapy alone has recalled interest in the generation of novel vaccines. Vaccines have proven their efficacy for the bacterial pathogens that are controlled by antibodies. In contrast, satisfactory vaccines are not available for intracellular bacteria that are under the control of T lymphocytes. This review describes the T cell populations that must be activated by successful vaccines against intracellular bacteria and discusses parameters that need to be fulfilled by protective T cell antigens. These parameters include: (a) the intracellular localization of the pathogen with major effect on antigen presentation and stimulation of distinct T cell subsets and (b) the antigen display which markedly influences kinetics of T cell activation. Using tuberculosis as an example, the advantages and disadvantages of second-generation vaccine candidates are discussed.

Key words Tuberculosis Vaccine T lymphocyte Infectious Disease Cytokine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan H. E. Kaufmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Immunology, University of Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, D-89070 Ulm, and Max-Planck-Institute for Infection Biology, Monbijoustrasse 2, D-10117 Berlin, GermanyDE

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