Newly perfected, cheaper vaccines based directly off of the genome of a pathogen could have significant impact on developing countries like Africa. Trials for a meningitis vaccine developed directly from the DNA of the meningococcal meningitis pathogen are currently under way.

DNA sequencing might seem like a good option in developing countries, but the technical knowledge and money required are still challenges needed to be overcome. Some argue that clinicians in developing countries do not always have access to high-tech diagnostics, yet 70% of diagnoses can be made simply by examining family histories of genetic diseases. Countries like India, Brazil, and Korea already have well-established biotechnology frameworks for vaccines created from DNA sequencing technologies, though several African countries are still struggling to produce basic vaccines for their populations. Developing countries can gradually take advantage of diagnostic tools developed in industrialized countries for identifying genetically inherited diseases. Developing countries would benefit more from the development of genomics-based health care for the entire population. Rather than individually-tailored health care, more affordable drugs and tests can be developed based on increasing knowledge of the human genome. (4)

As our understanding of the genome becomes greater and costs of sequencing drop even further, developing countries will gradually develop their own DNA sequencing facilities and catch up to industrialized countries. China currently has the BGI, the world's largest genomics research institute, and many other developing countries will likely follow its lead. However, for both industrialized and developing countries, the eventual limiting factors will not be the cost of DNA sequencing, but the cost and time required for analysis of the raw data. (39)

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