Type I Interferons as Vaccine Adjuvants Against Infectious Diseases and Cancer

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2008 Apr;7(3):373-81. doi: 10.1586/14760584.7.3.373.


Presently, new attention is given to type I interferons (IFNs) as essential factors linking innate and adaptive immunity. Several studies provided evidence about the importance of IFN-alpha in the differentiation of the Th1 subset, in the generation and activity of cytotoxic T lymphocytes, in the enhancement of a primary antibody response and in the activation of dendritic cells. Owing to their immunomodulatory properties, type I IFNs can represent good candidates to be used as adjuvants for vaccination. In the present review, we summarize recent studies in humans and in animal models, suggesting a possible application of type I IFNs as adjuvants for the development of more effective vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Communicable Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Communicable Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / immunology
  • Interferon Type I / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Vaccines / immunology
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Interferon Type I
  • Vaccines