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Therapeutic Vaccines for Chronic Infections

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Science  09 Jul 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5681, pp. 205-208
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100600

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Therapeutic vaccines aim to prevent severe complications of a chronic infection by reinforcing host defenses when some immune control, albeit insufficient, can already be demonstrated and when a conventional antimicrobial therapy either is not available or has limited efficacy. We focus on the rationale and challenges behind this still controversial strategy and provide examples from three major chronic infectious diseases— human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, and human papillomavirus—for which the efficacy of therapeutic vaccines is currently being evaluated.

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