Adjuvanted influenza vaccines

Nicola Principi, Susanna Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The search for adjuvants has been stimulated by the need to ensure greater protection against influenza among subjects who show a reduced immune response to conventional influenza vaccines. Aluminum salts have long been used but are not considered satisfactory. This has led to the development of other possible compounds, sometimes on the basis of new knowledge concerning the mechanisms regulating the immune response to infections. Some of the new adjuvants (emulsions and virosomes) have been widely evaluated, and the apparently good results have led to the registration of adjuvanted influenza vaccines for use in humans, at least in some countries and in some subjects. In other cases, the adjuvants have been mainly or exclusively studied in experimental animals, and are unlikely to be used in humans in the near future. However, even in the case of those for which a considerable amount of data are available, assessments of their superiority over conventional influenza vaccines have mainly been based on immunogenicity studies, and have not been confirmed by comparative, randomized, double-blind clinical trials. Moreover, the very few human data comparing different adjuvants are frequently conflicting. The aim of this review is to discuss the characteristics and advantages of the adjuvants that have so far been used and to describe some of the new adjuvants that are still in the development phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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