Aluminium is a hot topic in the current debate. Exposure occurs due to environmental, dietary and intentional exposure to aluminium, such as in vaccines where it was introduced in 1926. In spite of the fact that it is a typical Th2 adjuvant, aluminium redirects the immune response in systemic allergen immunotherapy (SIT) upon prolonged immunization. SIT in the US, and SLIT in general, are at present non-adjuvanted therapies, but in Europe aluminium is used as adjuvant in most SIT preparations. It enhances the safety of SIT by local deposition of the allergen. Undesired properties of aluminium adjuvants comprise acute and chronic inflammation at the injection site, its Th2 immune stimulatory capacity, its accumulation besides biodistribution in the body. The adjuvant and safety profile of aluminium adjuvants in allergy vaccines are discussed, as well as the need for putting modern delivery systems and adjuvants on the fast track.
Keywords: Adjuvant; Allergen; Allergen immunotherapy; Aluminium; Th2.