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Drug Discov Today. 2011 Jul;16(13-14):569-82. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2011.04.006. Epub 2011 May 4.

Particulate vaccines: on the quest for optimal delivery and immune response.

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Laboratory of General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Harelbekestraat 72, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.


Subunit vaccines offer a safer alternative to traditional organism-based vaccines, but their immunogenicity is impaired. This hurdle might be overcome by the use of micro- and nanodelivery systems carrying the antigen(s). This review discusses the rationale for the use of particulate vaccines and provides an overview of antigen-delivery vehicles currently under investigation. It further highlights the cellular uptake, antigen processing and the presentation by antigen-presenting cells because these processes are partially governed by particle characteristics and eventually determine the immunological outcome. Finally, we address the attractive concept of concomitant delivery of antigens and immunopotentiators. The condensed knowledge could be an asset for rationally designing antigen-delivery vehicles to obtain safe and efficacious vaccines.

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