Immunopotentiating and Delivery Systems for HCV Vaccines

Viruses. 2021 May 25;13(6):981. doi: 10.3390/v13060981.


Development of preventive vaccines against hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains one of the main strategies in achieving global elimination of the disease. The effort is focused on the quest for vaccines capable of inducing protective cross-neutralizing humoral and cellular immune responses, which in turn dictate the need for rationally designed cross-genotype vaccine antigens and potent immunoadjuvants systems. This review provides an assessment of the current state of knowledge on immunopotentiating compounds and vaccine delivery systems capable of enhancing HCV antigen-specific immune responses, while focusing on the synergy and interplay of two modalities. Structural, physico-chemical, and biophysical features of these systems are discussed in conjunction with the analysis of their in vivo performance. Extreme genetic diversity of HCV-a well-known hurdle in the development of an HCV vaccine, may also present a challenge in a search for an effective immunoadjuvant, as the effort necessitates systematic and comparative screening of rationally designed antigenic constructs. The progress may be accelerated if the preference is given to well-defined molecular immunoadjuvants with greater formulation flexibility and adaptability, including those capable of spontaneous self-assembly behavior, while maintaining their robust immunopotentiating and delivery capabilities.

Keywords: delivery systems; hepatitis C virus (HCV); immunoadjuvants; immunopotentiation; multimericity; pharmaceutical formulations; self-assembly; vaccines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Compounding
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Hepacivirus / immunology*
  • Hepatitis C / immunology
  • Hepatitis C / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Immunogenicity, Vaccine*
  • Nanoparticles
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines / chemistry
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines / immunology*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines