Vaccines remain one of the most cost-effective public health measures. Despite ongoing efforts, protective vaccines against cancer and many infectious diseases, including malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS, are still not in hand. Most investigators believe that to succeed against these difficult targets, vaccines that generate potent T cell responses are needed. In this issue of the JCI, Salek-Ardakani et al. show how the relative virulence of a virus/vaccine vector affects the memory CD8+ T cells generated and how the response may be enhanced. The work has important implications for the development of future vaccines that aim to trigger CD8+ T cell responses.
Stuart N. Isaacs