Streamlining vaccine production using mRNA

NIAID [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

The creation and production of vaccines has come a long way since Edward Jenner developed the first known vaccine in 1796. Jenner used cowpox, a mild relative of smallpox, to induce immunity to smallpox. Today’s vaccines typically use inactivated forms, attenuated forms or purified immunogenic components of the causative pathogens as active agents. For example, influenza vaccines include hemagglutinin and neuramidase, proteins found on the surfaces of influenza virus particles, which are purified from cultures of the predominant strains of influenza in fertilized chicken eggs or in cells. This process is time-consuming and its yield is unpredictable, hindering effective management of influenza outbreaks.

Lab Anim. (NY) 42, 40 (2013).
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