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Nat Biotechnol. 1999 Nov;17(11):1075-81.

Advances in vaccine adjuvants.

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Chiron Corporation, 5300 Chiron Way, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA.


Currently, aluminum salts and MF59 are the only vaccine adjuvants approved for human use. With the development of new-generation vaccines (including recombinant subunit and mucosal vaccines) that are less immunogenic, the search for more potent vaccine adjuvants has intensified. Of the novel compounds recently evaluated in human trials, immunostimulatory molecules such as the lipopolysaccharide derived MPL and the saponin derivative QS21 appear most promising, although doubts have been raised as to their safety in humans. Preclinical work with particulate adjuvants, such as the MF59 microemulsion and lipid-particle immune-stimulating complexes (Iscoms), suggest that these molecules are also potent elicitors of humoral and cellular immune responses. In addition, preclinical data on CpG oligonucleotides appear to be encouraging, particularly with respect to their ability to selectively manipulate immune responses. While all these adjuvants show promise, further work is needed to better define the mechanisms of adjuvant action. Ultimately, the development of more potent adjuvants may allow vaccines to be used as therapeutic, rather than prophylactic, agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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