Mechanisms and Performances of Adjuvants in Vaccine Immunogenicity

Document Type : Review Article


1 Young Researchers and Elite Club, Andimeshk Branch, Islamic Azad University, Andimeshk, Iran

2 Department of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine, Dezful University of Medical Sciences, Dezful, Iran

3 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Imam-Hossein University, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Microbiology, Islamic Azad University, Damghan Branch, Damghan, Iran


An adjuvant is a substance that is added to a vaccine to increase the body's immune response to the vaccine. Vaccines containing adjuvants are tested for safety in clinical trials before they are licensed for use. The basic action of adjuvants is stimulating adaptive immune responses. Adjuvants recently licensed for human utilization involve alum squalane oil or water emulsion, influenza virosomes, and few cytokines as IFN-γ and IL-2. Some adjuvants are currently under investigation such as DNA motifs, monophosphoryl lipid A, Cholera Toxin, E. coli heat Labile Toxin, Saponins, Immunostimulating complexes, liposomes, Flt3 ligand as a pleotropic glycoprotein, non-ionic block copolymers. This paper is an overview of most commonly used adjuvants, adjuvant mechanisms, adjuvant formulations and adjuvant limitations.