Mechanisms of vaccine adjuvanticity at mucosal surfaces.

D. L. Foss, Michael P Murtaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The vast majority of pathogens invade via mucosal surfaces, including those of the intestine. Vaccination directly on these surfaces may induce local protective immunity and prevent infection and disease. Although vaccine delivery to the gut mucosa is fraught with obstacles, immunization can be enhanced using adjuvants with properties specific to intestinal immunity. In this review, we present three general mechanisms of vaccine adjuvant function as originally described by Freund, and we discuss these principles with respect to intestinal adjuvants in general and to the prototypical mucosal adjuvant, cholera toxin. The key property of intestinal adjuvants is to induce an immunogenic context for the presentation of the vaccine antigen. The success of oral vaccine adjuvants is determined by their ability to induce a controlled inflammatory response in the gut-associated lymphoid tissues, characterized by the expression of various costimulatory molecules and cytokines. An understanding of the specific molecular mechanisms of adjuvanticity in the gut will allow the rational development of safe and effective oral vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-24
Number of pages22
JournalAnimal health research reviews / Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2000


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