What is Adjuvant?

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      An adjuvant is a pharmacological or immunological agent that modifies the effect of other agents. Commonly, It is an ingredient of a vaccine that helps stimulate a stronger immune response in the patient’s body. Some vaccines made from weakened or dead germs contain naturally occurring adjuvants and help the body produce a strong protective immune response. However, as most vaccines developed today include just small components of germs rather than virus or bacteria, they must be made with adjuvants to ensure the vaccine can help produces an immune response strong enough to protect the patient from the germ he or she is being vaccinated against.

      Types of adjuvants

      There are only two adjuvants, namely, alum and AS0, are used in commercially available vaccines in the United States, but others have been approved for use in Europe and other districts. Many others are being tested in clinical trials.
      1.Pathogen Components
      Naturally occurring parts of pathogens used as adjuvants can help trigger early non-specific, or innate, immune responses to vaccines.
      An emulsion is a blend of two liquids that are normally unmixable, such as water and oil. An oil-in-water emulsion called MF59 is used as an adjuvant in Fluad, an influenza vaccine available in Europe.
      3.Particulate Adjuvants
      Particulate adjuvants form very small particles that can stimulate the immune system and also may enhance delivery of antigen to immune cells.
      Cytokines are small proteins that serve as chemical messengers of the immune system. Because of their role in coordinating immune responses, some cytokines have been evaluated as vaccine adjuvants.
      5.Combination Adjuvants
      Combinations of adjuvants, such as AS04, also are of interest because of their ability to elicit multiple protective immune responses. Adjuvants that have a modest effect when used alone may induce a more potent immune response when used together.

      Adjuvants’ role

      Adjuvants can be used to enhance the immunogenicity of highly purified or recombinant antigens or to reduce the amount of antigen or the number of immunizations needed for protective immunity, to improve the efficacy of vaccines in newborns, the elderly or immuno-compromised persons, and as antigen delivery systems for the uptake of antigens by the mucosa.

      Application of adjuvant in vaccine

      Today, vaccines containing novel adjuvant formulations have provided new tools to fill previously unmet clinical needs. The goal of vaccination is the generation of a strong immune response to the administered antigen able to provide long-term protection against infection. To achieve this objective with killed as opposed to live attenuated vaccines, requires the addition of an adjuvant. Since the discovery of adjvants, there has been more than 70 years’ history of using adjuvants to enhance the immune response of the host animal to an antigen. The mechanisms of using adjuvants to enhance the immune response include the "depot" effect, antigen presentation, antigen targeting, immune activation/modulation, and cytotoxic lymphocyte induction.

      More information at http://www.creative-diagnostics.com/MagicTM-adjuvant.html

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