According to Dr. Seib, the majority of vaccines develop in 20th century were based on Jenner model — to isolate, inactivate and inject the causative organism. More recently, the ability to sequence the entire genome pathogen has led to a new method of vaccine discovery.
Reverse vaccinology was first applied to meningococcal vaccine against the B virus. The technology allowed of the identification of novel Meningitis B antigens. Reverse vaccinology is now a routine discovery approach to target "difficult" pathogens.
This technique is now being applied to pneumococcal disease. Current vaccines against this disease have been effective but do not offer universal protection. The technique is also being applied to E coli. The ultimate goal is identifying a potential universal pathogenic E. coli for use in vaccination.
New technologies in the last 30 years have led to vaccines that were previously impossible. Today we do not start a vaccine project without knowing the genome of at least one strain. In another ten years, we probably won't start without knowing relevant antigens.
Check this space for the full presentation shortly. Excellent Presentation Kate!