Author(s): Teena Mohan, Priyanka Verma, D Nageswara Rao
The pure recombinant and synthetic antigens used in modern day vaccines are generally less immunogenic than older style live/attenuated and killed whole organism vaccines. One can improve the quality of vaccine production by incorporating immunomodulators or adjuvants with modified delivery vehicles viz. liposomes, immune stimulating complexes (ISCOMs), micro/nanospheres apart from alum, being used as gold standard. Adjuvants are used to augment the effect of a vaccine by stimulating the immune system to respond to the vaccine, more vigorously, and thus providing increased immunity to a particular disease. Adjuvants accomplish this task by mimicking specific sets of evolutionary conserved molecules which include lipopolysaccharides (LPS), components of bacterial cell wall, endocytosed nucleic acids such as dsRNA, ssDNA and unmethylated CpG dinucleotide containing DNA. This review provides information on various vaccine adjuvants and delivery vehicles being developed to date. From literature, it seems that the humoral immune responses have been observed for most adjuvants and delivery platforms while viral-vector, ISCOMs and Montanides have shown cytotoxic T-cell response in the clinical trials. MF59 and MPL® have elicited Th1 responses, and virus-like particles (VLPs), non-degradable nanoparticle and liposomes have also generated cellular immunity. Such vaccine components have also been evaluated for alternative routes of administration with clinical success reported for intranasal delivery of viral-vectors and proteosomes and oral delivery of VLP vaccines.