A New History of Vaccines for Infectious Diseases

A New History of Vaccines for Infectious Diseases

Immunization - Chance and Necessity

1st Edition - January 4, 2022

Write a review

  • Author: Anthony Rees
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128127551
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128127544

Purchase options

Purchase options
DRM-free (EPub, PDF)
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out

Institutional Subscription

Free Global Shipping
No minimum order


A New History of Vaccines for Infectious Diseases: Immunization - Chance and Necessity covers the developments of vaccines and how they have obliterated many fatal diseases and infections over time. The book treads a neutral path but does not avoid discussion. As uncertainty in the outcome of vaccination can only be determined by experiment, the path to vaccine development has been scientifically complex because the immune system and the manner in which humans respond to infection is variable and complex.  Finally, the book describes the risks and benefits of vaccines in a visibly objective manner.

Key Features

  • 2023 PROSE Awards - Winner: Finalist: History of Science, Medicine, and Technology: Association of American Publishers
  • Gives an objective description of the science behind vaccine discovery
  • Presents awareness and discussions on controversies, both past and present
  • Provides historical context to the scientific aspects of immunization, including what worked, what didn't, and why
  • Written by a scientist with no ‘vested interest’ in vaccine development
  • Clears up many misunderstandings for today’s vaccination policies


Scientific researchers, graduate and postgraduate students in immunology, medicine, biological sciences and history of science, medical profession, science teachers

Table of Contents

  • Cover image
  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Copyright
  • Dedication
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Chapter 1. Infectious diseases: a historical documentary
  • The origins of infectious diseases
  • Viruses and cells: early origins
  • Susceptibility to pathogenic viruses
  • Antibiotic resistance and its origins
  • Epidemics, pandemics, and survival
  • Understanding how infectious diseases spread
  • The beginnings of epidemiological thinking
  • Epidemiological principles in infectious disease
  • Chapter 2. The scourge of smallpox: variolation, vaccination, and Edward Jenner
  • Early history
  • Virus DNA as a historical record
  • Smallpox in Europe
  • The origins and spread of inoculation
  • Inoculation in Europe: the role of dogma and prejudice
  • The demise of smallpox inoculation and rise of the vacca
  • Earlier claims for cowpox vaccination
  • Some conclusions
  • Chapter 3. Smallpox vaccination in the 19th century: obstinacy versus pragmatism
  • Early medical doctrine: the four “humors”
  • Disease prevention: inoculation versus vaccination in Europe
  • The North American experience
  • Great Britain—no better, no worse
  • Chapter 4. The biological origins of infection unveiled
  • The backcloth of early experimental observation
  • Anthrax: a disease reveals its causative agent
  • The birth of Pasteur's germ theory
  • Proving causation was not trivial
  • Rabies meets “the prepared mind”
  • The importance of strong microbiology in identifying the causes of infection
  • Tuberculosis and its cause
  • A not so successful coda
  • Chapter 5. Cholera, plague, typhoid, and paratyphoid: a cautious start to a vaccine revolution
  • Cholera meets a rigorous analyst
  • The plague
  • Typhoid and paratyphoid
  • Chapter 6. Diphtheria and tetanus: the discovery of passive immunization
  • The diphtheria microorganism identified
  • The development of anti-diphtheria therapy and the role of tetanus research
  • The dawn of passive immunization
  • Serum therapy arrives on the world stage
  • A diphtheria vaccine emerges
  • From passive immunotherapy to active vaccines
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccination today
  • Chapter 7. The tuberculosis roller coaster: vaccines and antibiotics
  • The BCG vaccine arrives
  • Tuberculosis and the impact of chemical intervention
  • The persistent treatment dilemma
  • Chapter 8. Viruses: epic challenges for vaccinology
  • The origin of viruses
  • The discovery of viruses
  • The discovery of bacterial viruses
  • Methods and concepts
  • The illusive virus nature revealed
  • Why viruses?
  • Vaccine effects on virus and bacterial fitness
  • Chapter 9. Some tropical diseases: the flaviviruses
  • Introduction
  • The yellow fever vaccine today
  • Dengue
  • The dengue virus discovery
  • Dengue vaccine development and the unusual immunology of multiple infections
  • Coda
  • Japanese encephalitis virus
  • A Japanese encephalitis vaccine emerges
  • Zika virus
  • Zika virus discovery
  • The vaccine challenges
  • A cautionary epilogue
  • Chapter 10. Influenza virus: an evolving chameleon
  • Introduction
  • The history of influenza
  • The Spanish ‘flu and the search for its cause
  • Influenza pandemics in the modern era
  • The H/N “Pandora's box” and vaccine advances
  • Chapter 11. The Polio virus: its conquest amid inflamed debate and controversy
  • The history of polio virus infection
  • The Scandinavian experience
  • The poliomyelitis virus discovered
  • The pathogenesis of poliomyelitis defined
  • The race to a vaccine
  • Polio vaccine trials: triumph and alarm bells
  • Live attenuated virus vaccines: the “catch up” race
  • Vaccine safety concerns and their resolution
  • The race to eliminate the polio virus
  • Poliomyelitis today
  • Chapter 12. Measles, mumps, and rubella: vaccination, mortality, and uncertainty
  • Measles virus and its history
  • A measles vaccine emerges
  • The effect of vaccines on measles incidence
  • Mumps virus and its history
  • Attenuated viruses become the dominant mumps vaccine
  • Rubella virus: a wolf in sheep's clothing
  • Isolation of rubella virus and the vaccine trail
  • The combination vaccines of measles, mumps, rubella
  • Chapter 13. Filoviruses: modern solutions to life-threatening infections
  • Introduction and recent history
  • The origins of filoviruses
  • Prevention the only option when no cure exists
  • The vaccine paths
  • The vaccine situation today and the role of passive immunotherapy
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 14. Immunological challenges of the “new” infections: corona viruses
  • History of coronaviruses
  • A new viral pathogen arrives
  • The SARS disease: its origins and its causative agent
  • The way out: vaccines to SARS-CoV
  • Nonsemper erit aestas—MERS attack
  • The stuttering path to a MERS-CoV vaccine
  • SARS-CoV2—the darker side of coronaviridae
  • The origin of SARS-CoV-2
  • Pandemic models and the vaccine solutions for COVID19
  • COVID19 and the role of passive antibody therapy
  • Interim epilogue: vaccine nationalism and effective use of global resources
  • Chapter 15. Vaccines are not always perfect: adverse effects and their clinical impact
  • Vaccine safety evaluation
  • The other “substances” in vaccines!
  • COVID19 vaccines and safety
  • Chapter 16. Vaccination and freedom of choice: the individual and the population
  • Religious and ethical grounds for vaccine hesitancy
  • The safety question: hesitancy amid misinformation
  • The genuine concerns of vaccination
  • Glossary
  • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 514
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2022
  • Published: January 4, 2022
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128127551
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128127544

About the Author

Anthony Rees

Educated at University of Oxford (MSc, MA, DPhil). Lectureship in Molecular Biophysics at Oxford and Student of Christ Church (1980-90). Professor of Biochemistry and Head of School of Biology & Biochemistry, University of Bath (1990-97). Emeritus Professorship, University of Bath, 2003. Doctor of Science Honoris Causa, University of Bath, 2009. Academic research career in receptor biology and molecular immunology spanning >30 years. Co-founded (1989) Oxford University spin-out, Oxford Molecular plc, with flotation on LSE 1994; Visiting Professor CNRS, Montpellier 1997-8, and senior executive positions in French and Swedish biotech companies 1998-2010. Founding Board member and advisor of the Austrian antibody biotech company F-star, 2006-2011. Currently consultant in immunology to pharmaceutical companies. Strong interest in antibody repertoire theory. Member American Association for the History of Medicine. Books (excluding contributions to multi-author books or books as Editor/co-Editor): Molecular Biology at-a-Glance, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1984 (with MJE Sternberg); The Antibody Molecule: from Antitoxins to Therapeutic Antibodies, single author book, OUP Medical Histories Series, 2014. Interests: Napoleon and Wellington book collection, classical music (violinist), and cooking.

Affiliations and Expertise

Founder of Rees Consulting AB, Stockholm, Sweden

Ratings and Reviews

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for "A New History of Vaccines for Infectious Diseases"