Journal of Clinical and Cellular Immunology

Journal of Clinical and Cellular Immunology
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9899

+44 1223 790975


The Quest for an HIV-1 Vaccine Adjuvant: Bacterial Toxins as New Potential Platforms

Toufic O Nashar

While tremendous efforts are undergoing towards finding an effective HIV-1 vaccine, the search for an HIV-1 vaccine adjuvant lags behind and is understudied. More recently, however, efforts have focused on testing adjuvant formulations that can boost the immune response and generate broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV-1 ENV (gp160). Despite this, there remain a number of challenges towards achieving this goal. These include safety of adjuvant formulations; stability of the incorporated antigens; maintenance of ENV immunogenicity; optimal inoculation sites; the effective combination of adjuvants; stability of ENV neutralizing epitopes in some adjuvant formulations; mucosal immunity; and long-term maintenance of the immune response. A new class of adjuvants for HIV-1 proteins is suggested to overcome many of the limitations of some other adjuvants. Type 1 (LT-I) and type 2 (LT-II) human E. coli enterotoxins (HLTs) and their non-toxic B-subunits derivatives are strong systemic and mucosal adjuvants and effective carriers for other proteins and epitopes. Their stable molecular structure in the presence of fused proteins and epitopes, and their ability to target surface receptors on antigen presenting cells make them ideal for delivery of HIV-1 ENV or HIV other proteins. Importantly, unlike some other adjuvants, HLTs and derivatives have well defined modes of immune system activation. The challenges in finding optimal HIV-1 vaccine adjuvant formulation and important properties of HLTs are discussed.