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Concept: Immunologic adjuvant


Subunit vaccines have been investigated in over 1000 clinical trials of cancer immunotherapy, but have shown limited efficacy. Nanovaccines may improve efficacy but have rarely been clinically translated. By conjugating molecular vaccines with Evans blue (EB) into albumin-binding vaccines (AlbiVax), here we develop clinically promising albumin/AlbiVax nanocomplexes that self-assemble in vivo from AlbiVax and endogenous albumin for efficient vaccine delivery and potent cancer immunotherapy. PET pharmacoimaging, super-resolution microscopies, and flow cytometry reveal almost 100-fold more efficient co-delivery of CpG and antigens (Ags) to lymph nodes (LNs) by albumin/AlbiVax than benchmark incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (IFA). Albumin/AlbiVax elicits ~10 times more frequent peripheral antigen-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes with immune memory than IFA-emulsifying vaccines. Albumin/AlbiVax specifically inhibits progression of established primary or metastatic EG7.OVA, B16F10, and MC38 tumors; combination with anti-PD-1 and/or Abraxane further potentiates immunotherapy and eradicates most MC38 tumors. Albumin/AlbiVax nanocomplexes are thus a robust platform for combination cancer immunotherapy.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Cancer, Lymph node, Vaccine, Immunology, Cytotoxic T cell, Immunologic adjuvant


NLRs (nucleotide-binding domain leucine-rich-repeat-containing receptors; NOD-like receptors) are a class of pattern recognition receptor (PRR) that respond to host perturbation from either infectious agents or cellular stress. The function of most NLR family members has not been characterized and their role in instructing adaptive immune responses remains unclear. NLRP10 (also known as PYNOD, NALP10, PAN5 and NOD8) is the only NLR lacking the putative ligand-binding leucine-rich-repeat domain, and has been postulated to be a negative regulator of other NLR members, including NLRP3 (refs 4-6). We did not find evidence that NLRP10 functions through an inflammasome to regulate caspase-1 activity nor that it regulates other inflammasomes. Instead, Nlrp10(-/-) mice had a profound defect in helper T-cell-driven immune responses to a diverse array of adjuvants, including lipopolysaccharide, aluminium hydroxide and complete Freund’s adjuvant. Adaptive immunity was impaired in the absence of NLRP10 because of a dendritic cell (DC) intrinsic defect in emigration from inflamed tissues, whereas upregulation of DC costimulatory molecules and chemotaxis to CCR7-dependent and -independent ligands remained intact. The loss of antigen transport to the draining lymph nodes by a subset of migratory DCs resulted in an almost absolute loss in naive CD4(+) T-cell priming, highlighting the critical link between diverse innate immune stimulation, NLRP10 activity and the immune function of mature DCs.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Innate immune system, Immunology, Humoral immunity, Adaptive immune system, Dendritic cell, Immunologic adjuvant


Post-vaccination autoimmune phenomena are a major facet of the autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA) and different vaccines, including HPV, have been identified as possible causes.

Concepts: Immune system, Human papillomavirus, HPV vaccine, Vaccine, Vaccination, Menopause, Immunologic adjuvant, Plantar wart


Long-term biodistribution of nanomaterials used in medicine is largely unknown. This is the case for alum, the most widely used vaccine adjuvant, which is a nanocrystalline compound spontaneously forming micron/submicron-sized agglomerates. Although generally well tolerated, alum is occasionally detected within monocyte-lineage cells long after immunization in presumably susceptible individuals with systemic/neurologic manifestations or autoimmune (inflammatory) syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA).

Concepts: Immune system, Immunology, Adjuvant, Immunologic adjuvant


Heroin is a highly abused opioid and incurs a significant detriment to society worldwide. In an effort to expand the limited pharmacotherapy options for opioid use disorders, a heroin conjugate vaccine was developed through comprehensive evaluation of hapten structure, carrier protein, adjuvant and dosing. Immunization of mice with an optimized heroin-tetanus toxoid (TT) conjugate formulated with adjuvants alum and CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) generated heroin ‘immunoantagonism’, reducing heroin potency by >15-fold. Moreover, the vaccine effects proved to be durable, persisting for over eight months. The lead vaccine was effective in rhesus monkeys, generating significant and sustained anti-drug IgG titers in each subject. Characterization of both mouse and monkey anti-heroin antibodies by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) revealed low nanomolar antiserum affinity for the key heroin metabolite, 6-acetylmorphine (6AM), with minimal cross reactivity to clinically-used opioids. Following a series of heroin challenges over six months in vaccinated monkeys, drug-sequestering antibodies caused marked attenuation of heroin potency (>4-fold) in a schedule-controlled responding (SCR) behavioral assay. Overall, these preclinical results provide an empirical foundation supporting the further evaluation and potential clinical utility of an effective heroin vaccine in treating opioid use disorders.

Concepts: Immune system, Vaccine, Opioid, Primate, Morphine, Heroin, Surface plasmon resonance, Immunologic adjuvant


Safe and effective immunologic adjuvants are often essential for vaccines. However, the choice of adjuvant for licensed vaccines is limited, especially for those that are administered intradermally. We show that non-tissue damaging, near-infrared (NIR) laser light given in short exposures to small areas of skin, without the use of additional chemical or biological agents, significantly increases immune responses to intradermal influenza vaccination without augmenting IgE. The NIR laser-adjuvanted vaccine confers increased protection in a murine influenza lethal challenge model as compared to unadjuvanted vaccine. We show that NIR laser treatment induces the expression of specific chemokines in the skin resulting in recruitment and activation of dendritic cells and is safe to use in both mice and humans. The NIR laser adjuvant technology provides a novel, safe, low-cost, simple-to-use, potentially broadly applicable and clinically feasible approach to enhancing vaccine efficacy as an alternative to chemical and biological adjuvants.

Concepts: Immune system, Vaccine, Vaccination, Laser, Immunology, Influenza, Influenza vaccine, Immunologic adjuvant


Successful vaccines induce persistent antibody responses that can last a lifetime. The mechanisms by which they do so remain unclear, but emerging evidence indicates that activation of immune cells through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) or Nod-like receptors (NLRs) may be critical. Among PRRs, the use of TLR ligands as adjuvants is already largely described whereas the use of NLRs ligands remains largely unexplored. As activation of intracytoplasmic NLRs is able to induce proinflammatory molecules, the added value of encapsulation of Nod1 and Nod2 receptor ligands into Poly(Lactic Acid) (PLA) biodegradable nanocarriers to modulate their immune properties on human dendritic cells (DCs) maturation has been evaluated. Their ability to induce systemic immune responses in mice was also measured and compared to free ligands and the Alum adjuvant. Nod ligands encapsulated into PLA NPs were efficiently taken up by DCs and subsequently induced a strong up-regulation of maturation markers and the enhancement of proinflammatory cytokine secretion by DCs. Furthermore, co-injection of encapsulated Nod-ligands with PLA particles carrying Gag p24 HIV-1 antigen allowed a 100 fold increase in antibody responses in comparison to Alum. These results suggest that encapsulation of Nod ligands into PLA-NPs could be an effective way to improve vaccine efficiency.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Protein, Innate immune system, Toll-like receptor, Receptor, Pattern recognition receptor, Immunologic adjuvant


Six different adjuvants, each in combination with inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) produced with attenuated Sabin strains (sIPV), were evaluated for their ability to enhance virus neutralizing antibody titres (VNTs) in the rat potency model. The increase of VNTs was on average 3-, 15-, 24-fold with adjuvants after one immunization (serotypes 1, 2, and 3, respectively). Also after a boost immunization the VNTs of adjuvanted sIPV were on average another 7-20-27 times higher than after two inoculations of sIPV without adjuvant. The results indicate that it is feasible to increase the potency of inactivated polio vaccines by using adjuvants.

Concepts: Immune system, Vaccine, Poliomyelitis, Polio vaccine, Immunologic adjuvant, Poliomyelitis eradication, OPV AIDS hypothesis, Albert Sabin


One approach to fight against schistosomiasis is to develop an efficient vaccine. Schistosoma mansoni tetraspanning orphan receptor (SmTOR) might be a vaccine candidate, as it is a tegument membrane protein expressed most highly in cercariae. In this study we characterized the recombinant first extracellular domain of SmTOR (rSmTORed1) as having the expected property to bind C2 of complement similarly to a smaller peptide of the same domain, and to produce specific and high-titre antibodies in BALB/c mice immunized using complete Freund’s adjuvant/incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA/IFA). Immunization was protective against parasite infection, as demonstrated by a significant decrease in worm burden in immunized BALB/c mice versus the control groups over two independent trials [64 and 45% reduction for mean adult worm burden in immunized versus phosphate-bufferd saline (PBS) injected mice]. Interestingly, infection by itself did not lead to the generation of anti-rSmTORed1 antibodies, corresponding to the low frequency of specific anti-rSmTORed1 antibodies detected in the sera of patients infected with S. mansoni (2/20; 10%). These data suggest that, as opposed to the natural infection during which SmTOR induces antibodies only rarely, immunization with its smaller first extracellular domain might be more efficient.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Immunology, Schistosomiasis, Schistosoma mansoni, Schistosoma, Digenea, Immunologic adjuvant


Three adjuvants, namely, Taishan Pinus massoniana pollen polysaccharide (TPPPS), white mineral oil (WO) and propolis (PP), were added to the outer membrane protein (OMP) of Proteus mirabilis (P. mirabilis) and their effects were compared. Three hundred 1-day-old chicks were randomly divided into five groups (I-V), with 60 chicks per group, and injected subcutaneously with WO-OMP vaccine (I), PP-OMP vaccine (II), TPPPS-OMP vaccine (III), OMP-only vaccine (IV) and physiological saline (V) at 3, 7 and 12 days old. On days 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 and 49 after the first vaccination, the antibody titers, interleukin-2 levels (IL-2) and T-lymphocyte proliferation rates in the peripheral blood as well as the secreting-type IgA levels (SIgA) in the duodenum were measured. On day 7 after the third vaccination, the chicks were challenged with P. mirabilis strain Q1 and the protective effects of each group were observed. The highest protective rate was observed in group III. Moreover, the antibody titers as well as IL-2, SIgA and T-lymphocyte proliferation rates in this group significantly increased and were significantly higher than those in the other groups at most time points. The results indicate that TPPPS could significantly enhance the effects of the subunit vaccine of P. mirabilis; induced stronger humoral, cellular and mucosal immunity as compared with WO and PP; and should be developed as a vaccine adjuvant.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Protein, Vaccine, Immunology, Immunity, Immunologic adjuvant, Proteus mirabilis