Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics (formerly Human Vaccines)
Volume 13, Issue 1, 2017
From discovery to licensure, the Adjuvant System story
Nathalie Garçon & Alberta Di Pasquale
Adjuvants are substances added to vaccines to improve their immunogenicity. Used for more than 80 years, aluminum, the first adjuvant in human vaccines, proved insufficient to develop vaccines that could protect against new challenging pathogens such as HIV and malaria. New adjuvants and new combinations of adjuvants (Adjuvant Systems) have opened the door to the delivery of improved and new vaccines against re-emerging and difficult pathogens. Adjuvant Systems concept started through serendipity. The access to new developments in technology, microbiology and immunology have been instrumental for the dicephering of what they do and how they do it. This knowledge opens the door to more rational vaccine design with implications for developing new and better vaccines.