About this Research Topic
Vaccines are the most powerful tools to combat infectious diseases. Although whole microorganism-based vaccines can provide efficient protection against pathogens, they are not always entirely safe and may induce undesirable immune responses. The currently used alternatives are subunit and gene-based vaccines, which contain or encode only antigens required to stimulate desired immunity. However, vaccines containing only antigens, or their fragments, need to be administered with immune stimulants, which often contain fragments of microorganisms. These immune stimulants replace natural danger signals (fragments of pathogens recognized by our immune system) to activate immune responses. Regrettably, the relatively safe immune stimulants are not very efficient in stimulating the desired immune response against antigens. Immune stimulants usually include either a mixture of lipids, polysaccharides, or various microbial components. Additionally, many immune stimulants currently available are toxic, non-biodegradable, and invariably invoke adverse reactions, including allergic responses and excessive inflammation, and because of that they are not suitable for use in humans. To avoid using of such vaccine additives, we urgently need non-toxic, biodegradable and biocompatible immune stimulants or delivery systems, which can help stimulate long lasting safe immunity.
With recent advances in medicinal chemistry, immunology, pharmacology and nanotechnology, a variety of new immune simulants/adjuvants, delivery systems and formulations for subunit vaccines are currently in development. The vaccines composition also strongly depends on the immunization route, thus intensive efforts are also concentrated on the development of vaccines that can be administered orally, intranasally, intradermally, etc., to avoid the disadvantageous of the classical injectable pathway.
This Research Topic aims to provide a platform for new studies or reviews of novel concepts, mechanisms and applications in the field of vaccine delivery. Topics may include but are not limited to:
- Adjuvants/immune stimulants;
- Alternative vaccine delivery routes;
- Nano-sized delivery systems;
- Delivery of gene-based vaccines;
- Development of effective delivery systems for cancer vaccines;
- Targeted delivery of antigens to immune cells;
- Liposomes in vaccine delivery;
- Polymers as delivery platforms for vaccines.
In this Research Topic, the goal is therefore to present the current strategies and research progress in vaccine delivery and formulation, with a special focus on the use of immune stimulants and nanocarriers. Both Original Research and Review articles are welcome.
Keywords: vaccines, delivery systems, adjuvants, antigens, nanoparticles
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