Adjuvanted leptospiral vaccines: challenges and future development of new leptospirosis vaccines

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Leptospirosis is a neglected infectious disease of global importance. Vaccination is the most viable strategy for the control of leptospirosis, but in spite of efforts for the development of an effective vaccine against the disease, few advances have been made, and to date, bacterin is the only option for prevention of leptospirosis. Bacterins are formulations based on inactivated leptospires that present a series of drawbacks, such as serovar-dependence and short-term immunity. Therefore, bacterins are not widely used in humans, and only Cuba, France and China have these vaccines licensed for at-risk populations. The development of recombinant DNA technology emerges as an alternative to solve the problem. Recombinant protein-based vaccines or DNA vaccines seem to be an attractive strategy, but the use of adjuvants is critical for achievement of a protective immune response. Adjuvants are capable of enhancing and/or modulating immune responses by exposing antigens to antigen-presenting cells. In the last years, several components have been tested as adjuvants, such as aluminum salts, oil based-emulsion adjuvants, bacteria-derived components and liposomes. This review highlights the use of adjuvants in the multiple vaccine approaches that have been used for leptospirosis and their most important immunological aspects. Immune response data generated by these strategies can contribute to the understanding of the immune mechanisms involved in protection against leptospirosis, and consequently, the development of effective vaccines against this disease. This is the first review on leptospiral vaccines focusing on adjuvant aspects.
Teixeira ARF, Fernandes LGV, Pereira MFC, Takahashi MB, Santos JC, Passalia FJ, et al. Adjuvanted leptospiral vaccines: challenges and future development of new leptospirosis vaccines. Vaccine. 2019 Jul;37(30):3961-3973. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.05.087.
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