Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
NOVA Home Find out what's coming up on air Listing of previous NOVA Web sites NOVA's history Subscribe to the NOVA bulletin Lesson plans and more for teachers NOVA RSS feeds Tell us what you think Program transcripts Buy NOVA videos or DVDs Watch NOVA programs online Answers to frequently asked questions
Killer Disease on Campus

Making Vaccines

 

Here are the instructions you need to create six different types of vaccines. To find out how a vaccine is made, select a pathogen below.

Smallpox icon

Similar-pathogen vaccine:
smallpox virus

  Measles icon

Attenuated vaccine:
measles virus

  Polio icon

Killed vaccine:
polio virus

Tetanus icon

Toxoid vaccine:
tetanus

  Hepatitis icon

Subunit vaccine:
hepatitis B

  HIV icon

Naked-DNA vaccine:
HIV




Notes

Live vaccines contain living pathogens. These pathogens invade cells within the body and use those cells to produce many copies of themselves, just as their more harmful counterparts would. The "similar pathogen" and "attenuated" vaccines discussed in this feature are examples of live vaccines. Although these vaccines trigger a full immune response, there is a small risk of the viruses within evolving into more-virulent strains. Non-live vaccines contain agents that do not reproduce in the body. "Killed," "subunit," and "toxoid" are examples of non-live vaccines. These vaccines trigger a partial immune response. Genetic vaccines are non-live vaccines that trigger a full immune response.

The procedures outlined in this feature have been greatly simplified. Also, some steps are meant to show what is done but not how. For example, a gene cannot be plucked out of DNA using tweezers, and there's no box-like device called a purifier that can extract toxins from bacteria as well as viruses from pus.

Back to top

Killer Disease homepage



Send feedback Image credits
   
NOVA Home Find out what's coming up on air Listing of previous NOVA Web sites NOVA's history Subscribe to the NOVA bulletin Lesson plans and more for teachers NOVA RSS feeds Tell us what you think Program transcripts Buy NOVA videos or DVDs Watch NOVA programs online Answers to frequently asked questions

Support provided by

For new content
visit the redesigned
NOVA site