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Mol Biotechnol. 2002 Jun;21(2):129-48.

The development and use of vaccine adjuvants.

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Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, USA.


Interest in vaccine adjuvants is intense and growing, because many of the new subunit vaccine candidates lack sufficient immunogenicity to be clinically useful. In this review, I have emphasized modern vaccine adjuvants injected parenterally, or administered orally, intranasally, or transcutaneously with licensed or experimental vaccines in humans. Every adjuvant has a complex and often multi-factorial immunological mechanism, usually poorly understood in vivo. Many determinants of adjuvanticity exist, and each adjuvanted vaccine is unique. Adjuvant safety is critical and can enhance, retard, or stop development of an adjuvanted vaccine. The choice of an adjuvant often depends upon expensive experimental trial and error, upon cost, and upon commercial availability. Extensive regulatory and administrative support is required to conduct clinical trials of adjuvanted vaccines. Finally, comparative adjuvant trials where one antigen is formulated with different adjuvants and administered by a common protocol to animals and humans can accelerate vaccine development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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