Applications: Adjuvant Activity

Vaccination is probably the best precaution one can take to prevent infections by microorganisms and other infectious agents. Whereas in many cases immunization presents no problems, some antigens are poorly immunogenic and require further additional substances, so called adjuvants, to raise a protective immune response.

has the potential to be a useful adjuvant. This property is associated with the capacity of MALP-2 to induce co-stimulatory molecules on the cell surface of dendritic cells which help to present antigens to immune cells. In animal experiments MALP-2 has been shown to be a good adjuvant to raise mucosal immunity against several antigens, and that it can be applied intranasally. It makes great sense to induce immunity that extends to the mucosa, as here is the port of entry for many organisms infecting the respiratory or genital tract. Intranasal administration is further particularly suited for children and other people afraid of the prick of a syringe.

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One prospective way of vaccination could be inhalation of a spray consisting of an antigen-MALP-2 mixture.

(Image: Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research)