MF59-adjuvanted vaccines: increased immunogenicity with an optimal safety profile

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2003 Apr;2(2):197-203. doi: 10.1586/14760584.2.2.197.


The need to enhance the immunogenicity of purified subunit antigens has prompted the development of several new adjuvants. However, many of these new molecules have demonstrated a reactogenicity profile that is not suitable for their inclusion in vaccines for human use. In this context, the adjuvant emulsion MF59 has been developed, tested in combination with different antigens in several animal models and subsequently evaluated in humans. Clinical trials with several MF59-adjuvanted vaccines have been performed in different age groups (from newborns to the elderly) and have shown an increased immunogenicity of coadministered antigens, associated with a high level of safety and tolerability. MF59 has been the first adjuvant to be licensed for human use after alum and, as part of an enhanced influenza vaccine for the elderly, is now available in the marketplace of several countries worldwide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage*
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / adverse effects
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Emulsions
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Polysorbates / administration & dosage*
  • Polysorbates / adverse effects
  • Safety
  • Squalene / administration & dosage*
  • Squalene / adverse effects
  • Vaccines, Subunit / administration & dosage*
  • Vaccines, Subunit / adverse effects


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Emulsions
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Vaccines
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • MF59 oil emulsion
  • Polysorbates
  • Vaccines, Subunit
  • Squalene