Recent advances of vaccine adjuvants for infectious diseases

Author(s): Lee S, Nguyen MT


Vaccines are the most effective and cost-efficient method for preventing diseases caused by infectious pathogens. Despite the great success of vaccines, development of safe and strong vaccines is still required for emerging new pathogens, re-emerging old pathogens, and in order to improve the inadequate protection conferred by existing vaccines. One of the most important strategies for the development of effective new vaccines is the selection and usage of a suitable adjuvant. Immunologic adjuvants are essential for enhancing vaccine potency by improvement of the humoral and/or cell-mediated immune response to vaccine antigens. Thus, formulation of vaccines with appropriate adjuvants is an attractive approach towards eliciting protective and long-lasting immunity in humans. However, only a limited number of adjuvants is licensed for human vaccines due to concerns about safety and toxicity. We summarize current knowledge about the potential benefits of adjuvants, the characteristics of adjuvants and the mechanisms of adjuvants in human vaccines. Adjuvants have diverse modes of action and should be selected for use on the basis of the type of immune response that is desired for a particular vaccine. Better understanding of current adjuvants will help exploring new adjuvant formulations and facilitate rational design of vaccines against infectious diseases.

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