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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1995 Dec 29;774:232-48.

DHEAS as an effective vaccine adjuvant in elderly humans. Proof-of-principle studies.

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Paradigm Biosciences, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah 84109, USA.


We have demonstrated that in aged mice, the titer of serum antibody induced against tetanus toxoid correlates with resistance to local paralysis caused by injection of tetanus toxin. Only mice immunized shortly after oral dosing with DHEAS demonstrated high serum antibody titers and complete protection from paralysis. These results became the basis for initiating proof-of-principle studies in human volunteers above age 65 using a licensed influenza vaccine and tetanus toxoid in two independent studies. The use of an oral delivery form of DHEAS before influenza vaccination was associated with a demonstrable increase in the number of individuals with a fourfold increase in HAI titers following vaccination. The overall mean increase in HAI titers was highest in the DHEAS-treated group. The use of DHEAS in the immunization of elderly subjects against tetanus toxoid, while unable to enhance the responses, was not a detriment to antibody response. We conclude that further studies will justify the use of DHEAS as an adjuvant for antigens that represent primary responses in the elderly.

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