Vaccine Adjuvants

In identifying or developing a new adjuvant, there is no clear recipe or protocol to follow. Scientists must determine the exact immune response desired for a given antigen. Adjuvant selection is greatly dependent on vaccine formulation and individual application. First and foremost, effectiveness and safety are of primary importance in adjuvant selection, yet a number of other characteristics for successful adjuvants must be considered as well including:
  • A compound that is stable with a long shelf life
  • Biodegradable
  • Cheap to produce
  • Does not induce immune responses against itself
  • Promotes an appropriate immune response (i.e. cellular or antibody immunity depending on requirements for protection).
The limited immunogenicity of new and novel vaccine antigens has increased the importance of adjuvant research in vaccine development. Adjuvants will be needed to enhance and extend immune responses while reducing the amount of antigen necessary in each dose. In recent years both the US and Europe have created initiatives to evaluate, compare, and develop adjuvants in the public, private, academic and government sectors. These initiatives will encourage these groups to continue working toward more effective adjuvants as part of a global health strategy to prepare for a possible future pandemic.

Adjuvant emulsions

Generally considered too toxic for human use, oil emulsions such as Freund′s complete adjuvant function by creating a depot at the injection site and slowly releasing antigen which elicits the desired immune response.

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A0362 Adjuplex Vaccine Adjuvant Concentrate, sterile
S6322 Sigma Adjuvant System® oil
F5881 Freund’s Adjuvant, Complete cell suspension
F5506 Freund’s Adjuvant, Incomplete liquid
M8819 Mannide monooleate from plant
M1180 Mineral oil meets USP testing specifications
69794 Mineral oil BioUltra, for molecular biology
P2144 Peanut oil delivery vehicle for lipophilic compounds
P2870 Pristane synthetic, ≥98% (GC)
P9622 Pristane synthetic, liquid, sterile-filtered, BioReagent
H4397 TiterMax® Classic Adjuvant liquid
T2684 TiterMax® Gold Adjuvant liquid

Bacteria-derived adjuvants

Bacteria-derivied molecules are a key source of immune-stimulating adjuvants, including lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which contains Lipid A, a potent, yet toxic immune stimulant.

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A9519 N-Acetylmuramyl-L-alanyl-D-isoglutamine hydrate ≥98% (TLC)
C8180 Cholera Toxin A Subunit from Vibrio cholerae lyophilized powder
C9903 Cholera Toxin B subunit ≥95% (SDS-PAGE), lyophilized powder
E8656 Heat-Labile Enterotoxin, B subunit (LTB) from E. coli recombinant, expressed in Pichia pastoris, >90% (SDS-PAGE), lyophilized powder
L6638 Lipid A, monophosphoryl from Escherichia coli F583 (Rd mutant) lyophilized powder
L6895 Lipid A, monophosphoryl from Salmonella enterica serotype minnesota Re 595 (Re mutant) lyophilized powder, TLR ligand tested
L4391 Lipopolysaccharides from Escherichia coli O111:B4 γ-irradiated, BioXtra, suitable for cell culture
L4516 Lipopolysaccharides from Escherichia coli O127:B8 BioXtra, suitable for cell culture, γ-irradiated
L2654 Lipopolysaccharides from Escherichia coli O26:B6 γ-irradiated, BioXtra, suitable for cell culture
L6529 Lipopolysaccharides from Escherichia coli O55:B5 γ-irradiated, BioXtra, suitable for cell culture
L6143 Lipopolysaccharides from Salmonella enterica serotype typhimurium BioXtra, suitable for cell culture, γ-irradiated
P7208 Pertussis toxin from Bordetella pertussis lyophilized powder
P2980 Pertussis toxin from Bordetella pertussis buffered aqueous glycerol solution
P159 Pertussis toxin B oligomer solid
T3034 Trehalose 6,6′-dimycolate from Mycobacterium bovis ≥97% 6,6′-mycolate esters basis

Carbohydrate adjuvants

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C3646 Chitosan from shrimp shells, ≥75% (deacetylated)
30461 DEAE-Dextran hydrochloride BioReagent, for molecular biology
D8906 Dextran sulfate sodium salt from Leuconostoc spp. for molecular biology, average Mw >500,000 (dextran starting material), contains 0.5-2% phosphate buffer
48230 D-Galacto-D-mannan from Ceratonia siliqua ~95% (HPLC)
G6513 β-D-Glucan from barley ≥95% (HPLC)
I3754 Inulin from dahlia tubers
M7504 Mannan from Saccharomyces cerevisiae prepared by alkaline extraction

Cytokines as adjuvants

While cytokine adjuvant use has been limited due to toxicity and immunogenicity, they do have potential in DNA vaccines coexpressed with an antigen. Cytokine adjuvant use has been used t oaffect magnitude and direction of immune responses in animal models. Many cytokines, such as IL-12 stimulate macrophage activation via TLR signaling.

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SRP3002 4-1BBL human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3006 AITRL human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3189 APRIL from mouse recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3008 APRIL human recombinant, expressed in Hi-5 Insect cells, ≥95% (SDS-PAGE), ≥95% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3009 BAFF Receptor human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥95% (SDS-PAGE), ≥95% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3010 BCMA human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3036 Fas Ligand human recombinant, expressed in CHO cells, ≥95% (SDS-PAGE), ≥95% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3037 FAS Receptor human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
F3422 Flt-3/Flk-2 ligand human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, lyophilized powder, suitable for cell culture, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE and HPLC)
G8160 Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor from mouse G-CSF, recombinant, expressed in E. coli, suitable for cell culture
G0282 Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor from mouse GM-CSF, from mouse, recombinant, expressed in E. coli, lyophilized powder, suitable for cell culture
G0792 Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor from rat GM-CSF, recombinant, expressed in E. coli
G5035 Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor human GM-CSF, recombinant, expressed in E. coli, suitable for cell culture
SRP3056 HVEM-Fc human recombinant, expressed in Hi-5 Insect cells, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3242 IL-2 from rat recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3085 IL-2 human Animal-component free, recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3213 IL-9 from mouse recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3245 IL-9 from rat recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3099 IL-9 human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
I8657 Interferon α from rat ≥95%, recombinant, expressed in bacteria, lyophilized powder, cell culture tested
57600 Interleukin-2 human ≥98.0% (GE), recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ~10000 U/mL
I5273 Interleukin-5 human recombinant, expressed in baculovirus infected Sf21 cells, ≥97% (SDS-PAGE), lyophilized powder, cell culture tested
I3268 Interleukin-6 human IL-6, from human (osteosarcoma cells), solution, suitable for cell culture
I1395 Interleukin-6 human IL-6, recombinant, expressed in E. coli, lyophilized powder, suitable for cell culture
I5896 Interleukin-7 human ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), recombinant, expressed in E. coli, lyophilized powder, cell culture tested
I1645 Interleukin-8 human ≥98% (SDS-PAGE and HPLC), recombinant, expressed in E. coli, lyophilized powder, cell culture tested
I9276 Interleukin-10 human ≥97% (SDS-PAGE), recombinant, expressed in baculovirus infected Sf21 cells, lyophilized powder, cell culture tested
I2276 Interleukin-12 human ≥97% (SDS-PAGE and N-terminal analysis), recombinant, expressed in baculovirus infected Sf21 cells, lyophilized powder, cell culture tested
I0531 Interleukin-18 from rat >97% (SDS-PAGE), recombinant, expressed in E. coli, lyophilized powder
SRP3217 LIGHT from mouse recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥96% (SDS-PAGE), ≥96% (HPLC), cell culture tested
M6518 Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor human M-CSF, recombinant, expressed in E. coli, lyophilized powder, suitable for cell culture
M6417 Macrophage Inflammatory Protein-1β human ≥97% (SDS-PAGE and N-terminal analysis), recombinant, expressed in baculovirus infected Sf21 cells, lyophilized powder, cell culture tested
SRP3133 OX40 Ligand human recombinant, expressed in Hi-5 Insect cells, ≥97% (SDS-PAGE), ≥97% (HPLC), cell culture tested
R6267 RANTES human ≥97% (SDS-PAGE), recombinant, expressed in E. coli, lyophilized powder, cell culture tested
SRP3001 4-1BB Receptor human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3161 sRANKL human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3254 sRank Ligand from rat recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3160 sRank Receptor human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3162 sTNF-receptor Type I human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3163 sTNF-receptor Type II human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3164 sTRAIL Receptor-1 (DR4) human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3165 sTRAIL Receptor-2 (DR5) human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3166 TACI human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3175 TL-1A human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3176 TLR-3 human recombinant, expressed in HEK 293 cells, ≥95% (SDS-PAGE), ≥95% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3177 TNF-α human Animal-component free, recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested
SRP3237 TRAIL from mouse recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥95% (SDS-PAGE), ≥95% (HPLC), cell culture tested
T6674 Tumor Necrosis Factor-α human TNF-α, recombinant, expressed in E. coli, powder, suitable for cell culture
SRP3180 TWEAK Receptor human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), cell culture tested

Mineral salt adjuvants

Mineral-derived compounds have been used for years as effective antigens, with aluminum adjuvants, often referred to generically as Alum in literature, having found wide use in human vaccines. The mechanism of action for aluminum adjuvants are not completely understood, yet research suggest the activation of dendritic cells leading to enhanced humoral and cell-mediated immunity.

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239186 Aluminum hydroxide reagent grade
255963 Aluminum phosphate 99.99% trace metals basis
237086 Aluminum potassium sulfate dodecahydrate ACS reagent, ≥98%
A7210 Aluminum potassium sulfate dodecahydrate BioXtra, ≥98.0%
21218 Calcium phosphate purum p.a., ≥96.0% (calc. as Ca3(PO4)2, KT)
Z0251 Zinc sulfate heptahydrate BioReagent, suitable for cell culture
221376 Zinc sulfate heptahydrate ACS reagent, 99%

Other adjuvants

Many vaccines use a combination of adjuvants to tailor specific immune responses. Squalene, pristane, saponins, poly I:C, and many other products have found to be useful adjuvants either alone or in combination with other adjuvants. Vaccines are licensed as a whole with their adjuvants, so that adjuvant selection is not independent of antigen a vaccine formula.

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74777 Astragaloside IV >98.0%
D2779 Dimethyldioctadecylammonium bromide ≥98% (TLC)
G0777 Ginsenoside-Rb1 from Panax ginseng (Korean ginseng) root triterpenoid saponin
G1027 Ginsenoside-Re from Panax ginseng (Korean ginseng) root triterpenoid saponin
68317 Ginsenoside Rg1 analytical standard
50531 Glycyrrhizic acid ammonium salt from glycyrrhiza root (licorice) ≥95.0% (NT)
H7158 Heat Shock Protein 60 human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, buffered aqueous solution, ≥95% (SDS-GE)
H9776 Heat Shock Protein 70 from bovine brain >95% (SDS-PAGE), lyophilized powder
H7283 Heat Shock Protein 70 human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, buffered aqueous solution, ≥90% (SDS-PAGE)
H6774 Heat Shock Protein 90 from bovine brain ≥95% (SDS-PAGE), lyophilized powder
H7017 Hemocyanin from Megathura crenulata (keyhole limpet)
H8283 Hemocyanin from Megathura crenulata (keyhole limpet) PBS solution
I5159 Imiquimod ≥98% (HPLC), solid
P9582 Polyinosinic–polycytidylic acid potassium salt with buffer salts, TLR ligand tested
P0913 Polyinosinic–polycytidylic acid sodium salt γ-irradiated
P1530 Polyinosinic–polycytidylic acid sodium salt TLR ligand tested
P2191 Poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) lactide:glycolide (50:50), mol wt 30,000-60,000
430471 Poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) ester terminated, Mw 50,000-75,000
P1941 Poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) lactide:glycolide (75:25), mol wt 66,000-107,000
47036 Saponin for molecular biology, used as non-ionic surfactant
S7900 Saponin from quillaja bark Sapogenin content ≥10 %
S4521 Saponin Quillaja sp. Sapogenin content 20-35 %
S3626 Squalene ≥98%, liquid