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Keywords:

  • Enhancement of immunity;
  • Immunization;
  • Immunomodulation.

Vaccine adjuvants are chemicals, microbial components, or mammalian proteins that enhance the immune response to vaccine antigens. Interest in reducing vaccine-related adverse effects and inducing specific types of immunity has led to the development of numerous new adjuvants. Adjuvants in development or in experimental and commercial vaccines include aluminum salts (alum), oil emulsions, saponins, immune-stimulating complexes (ISCOMs), liposomes, microparticles, nonionic block copolymers, deriv-atized polysaccharides, cytokines, and a wide variety of bacterial derivatives. The mechanisms of action of these diverse compounds vary, as does their induction of cell-mediated and antibody responses. Factors influencing the selection of an adjuvant include animal species, specific pathogen, vaccine antigen, route of immunization, and type of immunity needed.