Adjuvants for allergy vaccines

Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2012 Oct;8(10):1492-8. doi: 10.4161/hv.21688. Epub 2012 Oct 1.


Allergen-specific immunotherapy is currently performed via either the subcutaneous or sublingual routes as a treatment for type I (IgE dependent) allergies. Aluminum hydroxide or calcium phosphate are broadly used as adjuvants for subcutaneous allergy vaccines, whereas commercial sublingual vaccines rely upon high doses of aqueous allergen extracts in the absence of any immunopotentiator. Adjuvants to be included in the future in products for allergen specific immunotherapy should ideally enhance Th1 and CD4+ regulatory T cell responses. Imunomodulators impacting dendritic or T cell functions to induce IL10, IL12 and IFNγ production are being investigated in preclinical allergy models. Such candidate adjuvants encompass synthetic or biological immunopotentiators such as glucocorticoids, 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3, selected probiotic strains (e.g., Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species) as well as TLR2 (Pam3CSK4), TLR4 (monophosphoryl lipid A, synthetic lipid A analogs) or TLR9 (CpGs) ligands. Furthermore, the use of vector systems such as mucoadhesive particules, virus-like particles or liposomes are being considered to enhance allergen uptake by tolerogenic antigen presenting cells present in mucosal tissues.

Keywords: adjuvant; allergen vaccine; immunopotentiator; sublingual immunotherapy; vector system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Administration, Sublingual
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / therapeutic use
  • Calcium Phosphates / therapeutic use
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Vaccines / immunology
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Vaccines
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • calcium phosphate