Towards the Systematic Discovery of Immunomodulatory Adjuvants

  • Darren R. FlowerEmail author
Part of the Immunomics Reviews: book series (IMMUN, volume 5)


Adjuvants potentiate immune responses, reducing the amount and dosage of antigen needed for protective immunity. Adjuvants are particularly important when considering subunit, epitope-based, or other more exotic vaccine formulations that lack significant inherent immunogenicity. While innumerable adjuvants are known, only a handful are licensed for human use: principally alum, and squalene-based oil-in-water adjuvants. Alum, the most commonly used, is suboptimal. There are many varieties of adjuvant: proteins, oligonucleotides, drug-like small-molecules, and liposome-based delivery systems with adjuvant activity being perhaps the most prominent. Like poisons, adjuvants function via several mechanisms. Many plausible alternatives have been proposed. Focussing in particular on the discovery of small-molecule adjuvants, in the following we give a brief and fairly synoptic overview of adjuvants and their discovery.


Visceral Leishmaniasis Virtual Screening NLRP3 Inflammasome Inflammasome Activation Adjuvant Activity 
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.



I should like to thank all my colleagues who have influenced me positively or negatively through my career, and have thus been instrumental in forming the opinions expressed above. In particular, Dr. David Tough, Dr. Jagedesch Bayry, Professor Peter Beverley, and Dr. Elma Tchillian.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life and Health SciencesAston UniversityBirminghamUK

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