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Microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and fungi


A vaccine contains a weakened or dead form of a pathogen, its toxins, or surface proteins, and the immune system reacts to this as if it were a functioning, disease-causing microorganism. The immune system is ‘trained’ to fight off the disease, so that if the person or animal encounters the functioning pathogen another time, the body's immune system is prepared and prevents them from getting sick.

Infectious diseases

Preventable infectious disease is estimated to cause two thirds of child deaths and, in 2008, more than 9.5 million people died of infectious disease.

A vaccine to prevent spread of H1N1influenza
was developed rapidly bypharmaceutical companies.

More about microbes

Learn more about microbes which cause disease on this Society for General Microbiology site.