Clinical evaluation of CpG oligonucleotides as adjuvants for vaccines targeting infectious diseases and cancer

Vaccine. 2014 Nov 12;32(48):6377-89. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.06.065. Epub 2014 Jun 24.


Synthetic oligonucleotides (ODN) that express unmethylated "CpG motifs" trigger cells that express Toll-like receptor 9. In humans this includes plasmacytoid dendritic cells and B cells. CpG ODN induce an innate immune response characterized by the production of Th1 and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Their utility as vaccine adjuvants was evaluated in a number of clinical trials. Results indicate that CpG ODN improve antigen presentation and the generation of vaccine-specific cellular and humoral responses. This work provides an up-to-date overview of the utility of CpG ODN as adjuvants for vaccines targeting infectious agents and cancer.

Keywords: Adjuvant; Cancer; CpG olignucleotide; Infection; Toll-like receptor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cancer Vaccines / chemistry*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / pharmacology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptor 9 / immunology
  • Vaccines / chemistry*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • CPG-oligonucleotide
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Cytokines
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • TLR9 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 9
  • Vaccines