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Vaccines 2014, 2(2), 252-296; doi:10.3390/vaccines2020252

Adjuvants in the Driver’s Seat: How Magnitude, Type, Fine Specificity and Longevity of Immune Responses Are Driven by Distinct Classes of Immune Potentiators

1
US Military Malaria Research Program, Malaria Vaccine Branch, 503 Robert Grant Ave, 3W65, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA
2
Division on Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 6610 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 December 2013 / Revised: 20 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 10 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Adjuvants)
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Abstract

The mechanism by which vaccine adjuvants enhance immune responses has historically been considered to be the creation of an antigen depot. From here, the antigen is slowly released and provided to immune cells over an extended period of time. This “depot” was formed by associating the antigen with substances able to persist at the injection site, such as aluminum salts or emulsions. The identification of Pathogen-Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs) has greatly advanced our understanding of how adjuvants work beyond the simple concept of extended antigen release and has accelerated the development of novel adjuvants. This review focuses on the mode of action of different adjuvant classes in regards to the stimulation of specific immune cell subsets, the biasing of immune responses towards cellular or humoral immune response, the ability to mediate epitope spreading and the induction of persistent immunological memory. A better understanding of how particular adjuvants mediate their biological effects will eventually allow them to be selected for specific vaccines in a targeted and rational manner.
Keywords: vaccine; adjuvant; infectious disease; immune epitope; immune mechanism; Th1; Th2; Th17; mucosal immunity vaccine; adjuvant; infectious disease; immune epitope; immune mechanism; Th1; Th2; Th17; mucosal immunity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Bergmann-Leitner, E.S.; Leitner, W.W. Adjuvants in the Driver’s Seat: How Magnitude, Type, Fine Specificity and Longevity of Immune Responses Are Driven by Distinct Classes of Immune Potentiators. Vaccines 2014, 2, 252-296.

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