From Kiyoshi Shiga to Present-Day Shigella Vaccines: A Historical Narrative Review

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We are at an exciting moment in time with the advancement of many vaccines, including a shigella vaccine for the world. It is instructive to look at the long road that some vaccines have traveled to recognize the remarkable accomplishments of those who were pioneers, appreciate the evolution of scientific and applied technology, and inform the future history of a vaccine that would have great potential for global health. To achieve this valuable retrospective, a narrative historical literature review was undertaken utilizing PubMed and Embase databases with relevant search terms. Retrieved articles were reviewed and information was organized into historical themes, landmark discoveries, and important vaccine development parallels. The literature reviewed was synthesized into major eras of shigella vaccine development from pathogen discovery and first attempts to empirical approaches of killed whole-cell and live-attenuated approaches, and a modern era that applied recombinant DNA engineering and structural vaccinology. The history of shigella vaccine development has largely followed the evolutionary path of vaccine development over the last 120 years, but with important lessons learned that should be considered as we embark on the future chapters of bringing to the world a safe and effective vaccine for global health.