The role of bacterial vaccines in the fight against antimicrobial resistance: an analysis of the preclinical and clinical development pipeline

Frost I, Sati H, Garcia-Vello P, et al

14 December 2022


Access via The Lancet Microbe



Publication summary

Prevention is a key step to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, and as a result of antimicrobial resistance. Vaccines play an important role in reducing infections caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics and the use of antimicrobials. This paper looks at vaccine candidates targeting pathogens on the WHO Priority Pathogen List. Vaccines were classified in 4 groups depending on the stage of the candidates in the development pipeline.


Who this is for

  • Life science industry
  • Clinicians
  • Policy makers
  • Funding organizations


Key findings

  • The review identified 94 active preclinical vaccines candidates and 61 active development candidates.
  • Vaccines were organized in the following groups

Group A: existing vaccines, for example targeting S. enterica serotype Typhi, S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae type b, and M. tuberculosis.

Group B: vaccines in advance preclinical development, for example targeting extra-intestinal E. coli, S. serotype Paratyphi A, N. gonorrhoeae, and C. difficile.

Group C: vaccines in early phase of clinical development, for example targeting enterotoxigenic E. coli, K. pneumoniae, non-typhoidal Salmonella, Shigella spp, and Campylobacter spp

Group D: pathogens with no vaccines candidates or low feasibility, for example targeting P. aeruginosa, A. baumannii, S. aureus, H. pylori, E. faecium, and Enterobacter spp.

  • Many of the pathogens in Group D represent pathogens associated with hospital acquired infections whose affected patients/population at risk are difficult to target via traditional clinical trials. The authors suggest alternative measures to be explored as well as strengthening infection prevention and control practices.
  • There are three candidates for vaccine development for S. aureus but the feasibility of development is low due to intrinsic characteristics of the bacteria.
  • The mRNA vaccine technology has opened new prospects for vaccine development in future. There is currently one vaccine candidate for M. tuberculosis being developed with this technique.

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