Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
—George Santayana (1863–1952)
The philosopher, poet and novelist George Santayana (1863–1952) wrote famously in his book Reason in Common Sense–Volume 1 of The Life of Reason (1905)–that ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ This state-ment has an assumed veracity well beyond the original intentions of its author. Like many quotations–indeed like many great books, paintings, poems, plays and symphonies–it has gained a wide currency because one can impose on it any in–terpretation that one chooses and thus make use of it in many contexts. It seems to me to fit my purpose as well as any other: learn from the mistakes of the past and, if you can, also exploit past successes as much as is practical. We review this idea in this chapter.
At the time of writing, there are no commercially produced vaccines that have ever been designed solely, or significantly or perhaps even at all, using compu-tational techniques. Likewise, there are no commercial peptide- or epitope-based vaccines. Most vaccines are still, by and large, built around killed or attenuated live whole pathogens or are subunit vaccines. It has been argued–by some if not by all–that when the first epitope-based vaccines are licensed, then a floodgate of interest will open. A floodgate of this kind has, of course, been partly open ...