Comparative preclinical evaluation of AS01 versus other Adjuvant Systems in a candidate herpes zoster glycoprotein E subunit vaccine

Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2016 Aug 2;12(8):2092-2095. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2016.1154247. Epub 2016 Mar 2.


The candidate vaccine HZ/su is being developed to prevent herpes-zoster disease (HZ). HZ occurrence is attributed to declines in varicella-zoster virus (VZV) specific T-cell immunity. HZ/su contains VZV antigen, gE, and Adjuvant System AS01B (liposome-based formulation of MPL and QS-21). In clinical trials, AS01B enhances CD4+ T-cell responses to gE. In clinical trials of other vaccines, Adjuvant Systems AS03 and AS04 also enhance antigen-specific CD4+ T-cell responses. Hence the purpose of this study was to evaluate gE formulated with AS01B, AS01E (50% less MPL and QS-21 than AS01B), AS03 or AS04 in C57BL6 mice primed with live-attenuated VZV. Four-weeks post-vaccination, the gE-specific CD4+ T-cell response to gE/AS01B was 5.4, 2.8 and 2.2-fold greater than those to gE/AS03, gE/AS04 and gE/AS03, respectively (p<0.001). Therefore in the VZV-primed mouse model, CD4+ T-cell responses to gE appeared most enhanced by AS01B, and adds further support for the use of AS01B in the HZ/su formulation.

Keywords: MPL; QS-21; Varicella-zoster virus; herpes zoster Adjuvant System; vaccine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage*
  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine / immunology*
  • Lipid A / administration & dosage
  • Lipid A / analogs & derivatives*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Saponins / administration & dosage*
  • Vaccines, Subunit / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, Subunit / immunology
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / immunology


  • ASO2A adjuvant
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Drug Combinations
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine
  • Lipid A
  • Saponins
  • Vaccines, Subunit
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • glycoprotein E, varicella-zoster virus