Vaccine adjuvants are ingredients in vaccines added to improve the immune response after immunization. Modern vaccines usually contain only a portion of bacteria or viruses as their antigens and therefore require the help of adjuvants to induce a protective immune response. Vaccine adjuvants are of a diverse family, and hence, cannot be defined using a single integrated structure. They comprise of several naturally occurring or synthetic materials that boost the immunological effect of the antigen. This in return provides advantages such as, antigen dose reduction, cutback on the number of vaccinations, improving the quality of immune response, and in some cases potentially increasing the stability of the final vaccine product.
Characteristics of ideal vaccine adjuvants
The ideal vaccine adjuvant not only enhances the immune response, but also provides the organism with optimal protective immunity. Such vaccine adjuvants should have the following characteristics.
- Safe, no short-term and long-term toxic side effects.
- The chemical composition and biological traits of a vaccine adjuvant are clear, and the variation between preparation batches is small and easy to produce.
- The combination of a vaccine adjuvant with an antigen stimulates a stronger immune response in the body than the use of the antigen alone.
- Vaccine adjuvants that enter the body are self-degrading and can be easily removed from the body.
Common vaccine adjuvants
To date, scientists have developed many types of vaccine adjuvants. Aluminum-containing adjuvants and Freund‘s adjuvants are two of the most common adjuvants.
Aluminum-containing adjuvants are vaccine ingredients that have been used in vaccines since the 1930s. Small amounts of aluminum are added to help the body build stronger immunity against the germ in the vaccine. In general, the use of aluminum-containing adjuvants in vaccines means that less antigen is required, or, with some vaccines, fewer doses are required. Most current inactivated and protein vaccines, as well as some protein-conjugated polysaccharide vaccines, use aluminum salts in some form. The common aluminum salts used in vaccines are aluminum hydroxide, alum, aluminum phosphate, or mixed aluminum salts.
Freund's adjuvants are irreplaceable components of induction protocols of many experimental animal models of autoimmune disease. It is used in animal studies to trigger a humoral antibody inflammatory response that results in high titers of antibodies. Freund's adjuvant is usually divided into complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) and incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA). CFA is a water in oil emulsion, which also contains inactivated mycobacteria. IFA is the same water in oil emulsion, but does not contain the mycobacteria pathogen.
What we offer
Alfa Chemistry supplies vaccine adjuvants to companies researching vaccines. If you cannot find the vaccine adjuvant you need, please contact us. We also offer product customization according to customer's detailed requirements.
Our products and services are for research use only and cannot be used for any clinical purposes.