Adjuvants: an essential component of neisseria vaccines

R. Acevedo, B. Romeu, J. del Campo, E. Gonzales, J. Balbao, C. Zayas, M. Cuello, O. Cabrera, Valerie A. Ferro

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Adjuvants may be classified into delivery systems and immune potentiator or modulator molecules based on their mechanism of action. Neisseria vaccines containing traditional adjuvants such as aluminium salts have existed for long time, but meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups, particularly serogroup B, continues to be a global health problem. Novel strategies have applied in silico and recombinant technologies to develop "universal" antigens (e.g. proteins, peptides and plasmid DNA) for vaccines, but these antigens have been shown to be poorly immunogenic even when alum adjuvanted, implying a need for better vaccine design. In this work we review the use of natural, detoxified, or synthetic molecules in combination with antigens to activate the innate immune system and to modulate the adaptive immune responses. In the main, antigenic and imune potentiator signals are delivered using nano-, micro-particles, alum, or emulsions. The importance of interaction between adjuvants and antigens to activate and target dendritic cells, the bridge between the innate and adaptive immune systems, will be discussed. In addition, nasal vaccine strategies based on the development of mucosal adjuvants and Neisseria derivatives to eliminate the pathogen at the site of infection provide promising adjuvants effective not only against respiratory pathogens, but also against pathogens responsible for enteric and sexually transmitted diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-96
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • adjuvant
  • micro-particle
  • nano-particle
  • neisseria
  • vaccine
  • delivery system
  • immune potentiator


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