Potential of Cationic Liposomes as Adjuvants/Delivery Systems for Tuberculosis Subunit Vaccines

  • Farzad Khademi
  • Ramezan Ali TaheriEmail author
  • Amir Abbas Momtazi-Borojeni
  • Gholamreza Farnoosh
  • Thomas P. Johnston
  • Amirhossein SahebkarEmail author
Part of the Reviews of Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology book series (REVIEWS, volume 175)


The weakness of the BCG vaccine and its highly variable protective efficacy in controlling tuberculosis (TB) in different age groups as well as in different geographic areas has led to intense efforts towards the development and design of novel vaccines. Currently, there are several strategies to develop novel TB vaccines. Each strategy has its advantages and disadvantages. However, the most important of these strategies is the development of subunit vaccines. In recent years, the use of cationic liposome-based vaccines has been considered due to their capacity to elicit strong humoral and cellular immune responses against TB infections. In this review, we aim to evaluate the potential for cationic liposomes to be used as adjuvants/delivery systems for eliciting immune responses against TB subunit vaccines. The present review shows that cationic liposomes have extensive applications either as adjuvants or delivery systems, to promote immune responses against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) subunit vaccines. To overcome several limitations of these particles, they were used in combination with other immunostimulatory factors such as TDB, MPL, TDM, and Poly I:C. Cationic liposomes can provide long-term storage of subunit TB vaccines at the injection site, confer strong electrostatic interactions with APCs, potentiate both humoral and cellular (CD4 and CD8) immune responses, and induce a strong memory response by the immune system. Therefore, cationic liposomes can increase the potential of different TB subunit vaccines by serving as adjuvants/delivery systems. These properties suggest the use of cationic liposomes to produce an efficient vaccine against TB infections.


Adjuvant Cationic liposome Delivery system M. tuberculosis Subunit vaccine 





No funding was received for preparing this review.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This is a review article not involving any cellular, animal or human test.

Conflict of Interest



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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farzad Khademi
    • 1
  • Ramezan Ali Taheri
    • 2
    Email author
  • Amir Abbas Momtazi-Borojeni
    • 3
  • Gholamreza Farnoosh
    • 4
  • Thomas P. Johnston
    • 5
  • Amirhossein Sahebkar
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, School of MedicineArdabil University of Medical SciencesArdabilIran
  2. 2.Nanobiotechnology Research CenterBaqiyatallah University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Nanotechnology Research Center, Student Research Committee, Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of MedicineMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  4. 4.Applied Biotechnology Research CenterBaqiyatallah University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  5. 5.Division of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Missouri-Kansas CityKansas CityUSA
  6. 6.Neurogenic Inflammation Research CenterMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  7. 7.Biotechnology Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology InstituteMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  8. 8.School of PharmacyMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran

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