There is an urgent need for a new and improved vaccine against tuberculosis for controlling this disease that continues to pose a global health threat. The current research strategy is to replace the present BCG vaccine or boost BCG-immunity with subunit vaccines such as viral vectored- or protein-based vaccines. The use of recombinant proteins holds a number of production advantages including ease of scalability, but requires an adjuvant inducing cell-mediated immune responses. A number of promising novel adjuvant formulations have recently been designed and show evidence of induction of cellular immune responses in humans. A common trait of effective TB adjuvants including those already in current clinical testing is a two-component approach combining a delivery system with an appropriate immunomodulator. This review summarizes the status of current TB adjuvant research with a focus on the division of labor between delivery systems and immunomodulators.
Keywords: BCG boost vaccine; Delivery systems; Dual-component adjuvants; Immunomodulators; Long-term memory; Mucosal adjuvants; PAMPs; Tuberculosis.
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