Aluminium Salts: Perspectives in their use as Adjuvants

  • R. Bomford
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 179)


The adjuvant activity of aluminium salts was discovered more than 60 years ago (Glenny et al, 1926). Diphtheria toxoid was being purified by the addition of alum (KAISO4) followed by NaOH, which leads to the precipitation of a gel of Al (OH)3 according to the equation in Table 1. The toxoid adsorbs to the gel by ionic interaction, and Glenny found that the complex was more immunogenic than the free toxoid. Al (OH)3, and similar mineral gels (Table 1) are still the only adjuvants licensed for human use although, as other contributions to this volume should make plain, they are likely to be joined by others in the not too distant future. The wide application of aluminium salts in human vaccines has been reviewed elsewhere (Aprile and Wardlaw, 1966; Edelman, 1980).


Bordetella Pertussis Aluminium Salt Adjuvant Effect Diphtheria Toxoid Muramyl Dipeptide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aprile, M.A. and Wardlaw, A.C., 1966, Aluminium compounds as adjuvants for vaccines and toxoids in man; A review, Can.J.Public Health, 57: 343.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Ballou, W.R., Hoffman, S.L., Sherwood, J.A., Hollingdale, M.R., Neva, F.A., Hockmeyer, W.T., Gordon, D.M., Schneider, I., Wirtz, R.A., Young, J.F., Wasserman, G.F., Reeve, P., Diggs, C.L. and Chulay, J.D., 1988, Safety and efficacy of a recombinant DNA Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite vaccine, Lancet, i:1277.Google Scholar
  3. Berman, P.W., Groopman, J.E., Gregory, T., Clapham, P.R., Weiss, R.A., Ferriani, R., Riddle, L., Shimasaki, C., Lucas, C., Lasky, L.A. and Eichberg, J.W., 1988, Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 challenge of chimpanzees immunized with recombinant envelope glycoprotein gp 120, Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.USA, 85: 5200.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bevan, M.J., 1987, Class discrimination in the world of immunology, Nature, 325: 192.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bomford, R., 1980a, The comparative selectivity of adjuvants for humoral and cell-mediated immunity. 1. Effect on the antibody response to bovine serum albumin and sheep red blood cells of Freund’s incomplete and complete adjuvants, alhydrogel, Corynebacterium parvum, Bordetella pertussis, muramyl dipeptide and saponin, Clin Exp. Immunol., 39: 426.Google Scholar
  6. Bomford, R., 1980b, The comparative selectivity of adjuvants for humoral and cell-mediated immunity. II. Effect on delayed-type hypersensitivity in the mouse and guinea-pig, and cell-mediated immunity to tumour antigens in the mouse of Freund’s incomplete and complete adjuvants, alhydrogel, Corynebacterium parvum, Bordetella pertussis, muramyl dipeptide and saponin, Clin. Exp. Immunol., 39: 435.Google Scholar
  7. Bomford, R., 1984, Relative adjuvant efficacy of Al(OH)3 and saponin is related to the immunogenicity of the antigen, Int.Archs.Allergy Appl.Immun., 75: 280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bomford, R., Aston, R. and Ivanyi, J., 1985, Reversal of H-2-restricted hyporesponsiveness to human growth hormone by the use of aluminium hydroxide as adjuvant, Immunogenetics, 21: 505.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bomford, R., 1988, Adjuvants for antiparasite vaccines, Parasitol.Today, in press.Google Scholar
  10. Edelman, R., 1980, Vaccine adjuvants, Rev.Infect.Dis., 2: 370.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Etlinger, H.M., Felix, A.M., Gillesen, D., Heimer, E.P., Just, M., Pink, J.R.L., Sinigaglia, F., Sturchler, D., Takacs, B., Trzeciak, A. and Matile, H., 1988, Assessment in humans of a synthetic peptide-based vaccine against the sporozoite stage of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, J. Immunol., 140: 626.Google Scholar
  12. Francis, M.J., Fry, C.M., Rowlands, D.J., Brown, F., Bittle, J.L., Houghten, R.A. and Lerner, R.A., 1985, Immunological priming with synthetic peptides of foot-and-mouth disease virus, J. gen. Virol., 66: 2347.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Francis, M.J., Fry, C.M., Rowlands, D.J., Bittle, J.L., Houghten, R.A., Lerner, R.A. and Brown, F., 1987, Immune response to uncoupled peptides of foot-and-mouth disease virus, Inmiunology, 61: 1.Google Scholar
  14. Glenny, A.T., Pope, C.G., Waddington, H. and Wallace, U., 1926, The antigenic value of the toxin-antitoxin precipitates of Ramon, J.Pathol.Bacteriol., 29: 31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Glenny, A.T., Buttle, G.A.H. and Stevens, M.F., 131, Rate of disappearance of diphtheria toxoid injected into rabbits and guinea-pigs: Toxoid precipitated with alum, J.Pathol.Bacteriol., 34: 267.Google Scholar
  16. Hall, J.G., 1988, Studies on the adjuvant action of beryllium. IV. The preparation of beryllium containing macromolecules that induce immunoblast responses in vivo, Immunology, 64: 345.Google Scholar
  17. Hamaoka, T., Katz, D.H. and Benacerraf, B., 1973, Hapten-specific IgE antibody responses in mice. II. Cooperative interactions between adoptively transferred T and B lymphocytes in the development of IgE response, J. exp. Med., 138: 538.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hennessen, W., 1965, The mode of action of mineral adjuvants, Progr. Immunobiol. Standard, 2: 71.Google Scholar
  19. Herrington, D.A., Clyde, D.F., Losonsky, C., Cortesia, M., Murphy, J.R., Davis, J., Baquar, S., Felix, A.M., Heimer, E.P., Gillessen, D., Nardin, E., Nussenzweig, R.S., Nussenzweig, V., Hollingdale, M.R. and Levine, M.M., 1987, Safety and immunogenicity in man of a synthetic peptide malaria vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites, Nature, 328: 257.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Holt, L.B., 1950, “Developments in Diphtheria Prophylaxis”, Heinemann, London.Google Scholar
  21. Horowitz, S., Smolarsky, M. and Arnon, R., 1982, Protection against Schistosoma mansoni achieved by immunization with sonicated parasite, Eur.J. Immunol., 12: 327.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Joo, I., 1973, Mineral carriers as adjuvants, Symp.Series Immunobiol. Standard, 22: 123.Google Scholar
  23. Klaus, G.G.B. and Humphrey, J.H., 1977, The generation of memory cells. I. The role of C3 in the generation of B memory cells, Immunology, 33: 31.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Mannhalter, J.W., Neychev, H.O., Zlabinger, G.J., Ahmad, R. and Eibl, M.M., 1985, Modulation of the human immune response by the non-toxic and non-pyrogenic adjuvant aluminium hydroxide: Effect on antigen uptake and antigen presentation, Clin. exp. Immunol., 61: 143.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Patarroyo, M.E., Amador, R., Clavijo, P., Moreno, A., Guzman, F., Romero, P., Tascon, R., Franco, A., Murillo, L.A., Ponton, G. and Trujillo, G., 1988, A synthetic vaccine protects humans against challenge with asexual blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, Nature, 332: 158.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ramanathan, V.D., Badenoch-Jones, P. and Turk, J.L., 1979, Complement activation by aluminium and zirconium compounds, Immunology, 37: 881.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Rethy, L., Solyom, F., Bacskai, L., Geresi, M., Gerhardt, Z., Koves, B., Kriston, K., Magyar, T., Masek, I., Nagy, B. and Nemesi, M., 1985, Design and control of new type vaccines. Efficacy testing of adsorbed and freeze-dried toxoid-virus-bacterium combined vaccines, Ann. Immunol.Hung., 25: 49.Google Scholar
  28. Richards, R.L., Hayre, M.D., Hockmeyer, W.T. and Alving, C.R., 1988, Liposomes, lipid A and aluminium hydroxide enhance the immune response to a synthetic malaria sporozoite antigen, Infect.Immun., 56: 682.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Schmidt, G., 1967, The adjuvant effect of aluminium hydroxide in influenza vaccine, Symp.Series Immunbiol.Standard, 6: 275.Google Scholar
  30. Scolnick, E.M., McLean, A.A., West, D.J., McAleer, W.J., Miller, W. and Bunyak, E.B., 1984, Clinical evaluation in healthy adults of a hepatitis B vaccine made by recombinant DNA, J.Am.Med.Assoc., 251: 2812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Shakib, F. and Stanworth, D.R., 1980a, Human IgG subclasses in health and disease (A review) Part I, La Ricerca Clin.Lab., 10: 463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Shakib, F. and Stanworth, D.R., 1980b, Human IgG subclasses in health and disease (A review) Part II, La Recerca Clin.Lab., 10: 561.Google Scholar
  33. Warner, N.L., Vaz, N.M. and Ovary, Z., 1968, Immunoglobulin classes in antibody responses in mice. I. Analysis by biological properties, Immunology, 14: 725.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Bomford
    • 1
  1. 1.Wellcome BiotechnologyLangley Court BeckenhamKentUK

Personalised recommendations