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A volunteer receives a trial Ebola vaccine at the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine in Oxford, southern England January 16, 2015. Eddie Keogh/Reuters

It’s time to fix our outdated guidelines for human vaccine trials

Prior to the 1970s, almost all Phase I and II drug trials were conducted on prisoners. Our standards have gotten better since then, but still need revision.
Health marketing materials used to promote measles vaccine during the 1960s. CDC

How vaccines change the way we think about disease

Before the vaccine, we thought measles was a 'mild' illness. This is because vaccines drive down the number of people getting the disease while increasing our awareness of the risks.
The bacteria living in your gut have more to do with your immune system than you might think. Knorre/Shutterstock

What do the bacteria living in your gut have to do with your immune system?

Your intestines are home to many different kinds of bacteria (and some non-bacterial organisms as well). Together they’re called the “gut microbiome.” They come from the food you eat – and whatever else…
Do more non-medical vaccine exemptions mean a higher incidence of disease? luminaimages/Shutterstock

Why Mississippi hasn’t had measles in over two decades

As of January 30, 102 people in 14 states were reported to have measles, and most of these cases are tied to the outbreak that began at Disneyland in December. Public health officials are citing an increase…
Bats can harbour viruses such as Ebola and don’t display clinical signs of disease. Janelle Lugge

Bat’s immunity may hold key to preventing future Ebola outbreaks

Bats are the natural host species for Ebola and a variety of viruses, many of which can be fatal when transmitted to humans. More than 100 viruses have been identified in bats and this number is rising…
Time to run. Mytoenailcameoff

Rabies – a global killer that dog jabs can eliminate

Chacha, a farmer and businessman from northern Tanzania, returned home from market one afternoon to find that his family’s newly adopted puppy had bitten five of his children. The puppy had been playful…
A Liberian nurse disinfects a looted mattress taken from an elementary school that was used as an Ebola isolation unit in West Point, Monrovia, Liberia. AHMED JALLANZO/EPA

Epidemic ethics: four lessons from the current Ebola outbreak

The extent of the current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has belatedly focused the attention of non-governmental organisations, local and Western governments, and international media. What we haven’t…
This would be the ideal way to fight HIV. europedistrict

Research may be beating HIV, but vaccine remains a way off

Three decades since the onset of the infection in a global population, HIV care and treatment is looking very different. Given the difficulties involved, it is remarkable that having developed good treatments…
Anthrax in the mail can be deadly. Belga Photo/Yves Boucau

Ten-year research reveals new leads for anthrax vaccine

Anthrax occupies a special role as a feared and potentially lethal disease, but the culmination of a ten-year research project has identified a section of its toxin that could produce an effective new…
A little bit of pain is a worthwhile price for child health and community well-being. Sarah Gilbert

Vaccinations are a vital part of ethical ‘alternative’ lifestyles

Often cited as one of the most important medical breakthroughs in human history, immunisation has been a hallmark of public health interventions for more than 200 years. Globally, an estimated 2.5 million…
There’s no vaccine against persistent attacks on scientific evidence. www.shutterstock.com

Climate and vaccine deniers are the same: beyond persuasion

Governments are worried. Vaccination rates are falling under the influence of a campaign of misinformation by a small minority of fanatics. Scientifically there is no debate about immunisation, with every…

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