12. Attenuated Bacterial Vaccines

  1. W. John W. Morrow PhD, DSc, FRCPath3,
  2. Nadeem A. Sheikh PhD4,
  3. Clint S. Schmidt PhD5 and
  4. D. Huw Davies PhD6
  1. Richard W. Titball BSc, PhD, DSc, FRCPath1 and
  2. Helen S. Atkins BSc, PhD2

Published Online: 20 JUN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118345313.ch12

Vaccinology: Principles and Practice

Vaccinology: Principles and Practice

How to Cite

Titball, R. W. and Atkins, H. S. (2012) Attenuated Bacterial Vaccines, in Vaccinology: Principles and Practice (eds W. J. W. Morrow, N. A. Sheikh, C. S. Schmidt and D. H. Davies), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118345313.ch12

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Seattle, WA, USA

  2. 4

    Dendreon Corporation, Seattle, WA, USA

  3. 5

    NovaDigm Therapeutics, Inc., Grand Forks, ND, USA

  4. 6

    University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

  2. 2

    Department of Biomedical Sciences, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 JUN 2012
  2. Published Print: 3 AUG 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405185745

Online ISBN: 9781118345313



  • vaccine;
  • live vaccine;
  • attenuated mutant;
  • rationally attenuated;
  • auxotroph;
  • vaccine vector


A number of live attenuated bacterial vaccines have been generated using empirical methods and have been widely used. However, these vaccines are considered generally poorly effective. In addition, the genetic basis of attenuation is often unknown and these vaccines may be unsafe for use in immunocompromised hosts. Thus, there is a requirement for rationally attenuated bacterial mutants that may be used as safe and efficacious live vaccines for a range of diseases. This chapter reviews data on the efficacy of live attenuated bacterial vaccines, and considers the reasons why the performance of these vaccines requires improvement. The potential for the next generation of live attenuated vaccines to resolve these limitations will be reviewed. Finally, the prospects, limitations, and pitfalls for the exploitation of rationally attenuated live vaccines as carriers of heterologous antigens are considered.