NIAID releases 20th anniversary edition of Jordan Report on vaccine research

November 06, 2002

Vaccines have become an increasingly important medical tool against a variety of public health problems, both in the United States and abroad. To inform policy-makers, researchers and the public about recent accomplishments and future trends in vaccine research, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) today released a new edition of its comprehensive vaccine report, The Jordan Report 20th Anniversary (

"The impact and importance of vaccines cannot be overstated - they provide safe, cost-effective and efficient means of preventing illness, disability and death from infectious diseases," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "Each year, immunization programs save millions of lives worldwide, and more widespread administration of currently available vaccines could save millions more. Developing new vaccines - with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and potential agents of bioterrorism - is a critical priority of the NIAID."

Besides describing the state of the science, this edition of The Jordan Report reviews the last two decades and highlights important achievements in the field of vaccinology. These achievements include new vaccines for hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b as well as an improved vaccine against whooping cough.

The report also includes expert perspectives on a variety of vaccine research-related topics such as vaccine regulations, safety evaluations, economic considerations and vaccine risk communication. Other key topics in the report include the following:

Vaccines against drug-resistant, emerging and re-emerging diseases

In 2001, approximately six million deaths worldwide were attributed to three diseases - HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria - for which no effective vaccines exist. In many cases, the pathogens that cause these diseases have developed resistance to some drugs used to treat them. Since 1980, more than 50 newly emerging diseases and syndromes have been identified. In addition, other known diseases have re-emerged and continue to spread.

The report offers a comprehensive overview of vaccine research efforts to combat the above-mentioned diseases and many others - more than 60 infectious diseases in all - caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. For example, NIAID has collaborated with private and academic researchers to plan the first human trial of a new tuberculosis vaccine in 80 years. This Phase I trial should begin in early 2003.

Public-private vaccine research partnerships

The report describes how, in many of its vaccine research efforts, the NIAID works closely with partners in the public and private sectors. The Institute has created new programs to foster these relationships and spur vaccine research and development. For example, the NIAID Challenge Grants and Partnerships Program provides matching funds to companies who commit their own dollars toward developing vaccines and other medical interventions.

The report also covers the Institute's partnerships with industry through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements. One such agreement, made with Acambis in 1999, aims to develop a candidate West Nile virus vaccine. This experimental vaccine has undergone preclinical evaluations in animals with encouraging results and is expected to enter clinical trials in early 2003.

New vaccine technologies

The report also details how new technologies promise to create a renaissance in the already energized field of vaccinology. Recent years have seen rapid advances in our understanding of the immune system and how it interacts with pathogens.

Technological advances such as recombinant DNA technology, microbial genome sequencing and the ability to synthesize organic molecules have created opportunities to identify new vaccine candidates, to improve the safety and efficacy of existing vaccines and to design new vaccine strategies.

The 300-page Jordan Report 20th Anniversary, prepared by 45 NIAID scientists with additional contributions from outside researchers, is organized according to disease type and name. Each section begins with a brief overview, followed by a detailed description of the state of relevant vaccine research. The report contains appendices on the status of all vaccines in development and the current recommended childhood immunization schedule.

Since 1982, The Jordan Report has been prepared under the direction of distinguished infectious disease researcher William Jordan, M.D. From 1976 to 1987, Dr. Jordan served as director of the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at NIAID. A key part of his mission at NIAID, where he remains active today on a voluntary basis, was to stimulate vaccine research initiatives. To this end, he launched NIAID's Program for the Accelerated Development of Vaccines. To follow this effort, Dr. Jordan created an annual report intended to track and review progress in vaccine research - now known as The Jordan Report.

The Jordan Report 20th Anniversary is available online at or by writing to Jordan Report/NIAID OCPL; Bldg. 31, Rm. 7A-50; 31 Center Drive, MSC 2520; Bethesda, MD 20892-2520.

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious and immune-mediated illnesses, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, illness from potential agents of bioterrorism, tuberculosis, malaria, autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.
Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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