Liposomes act as stronger sub-unit vaccine adjuvants when compared to microspheres

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The ability of liposomes and microspheres to enhance the efficacy of a sub-unit antigen was investigated. Microspheres were optimised by testing a range of surfactants employed in the external aqueous phase of a water-in-oil-in-water (w/o/w) double emulsion solvent evaporation process for the preparation of microspherescomposed of poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) and the immunological adjuvant dimethyl dioctadecyl ammonium bromide (DDA)and then investigated with regard to the physico-chemical and immunological characteristics of the particles produced. The results demonstrate that this parameter can affect the physico-chemical characteristics of these systems and subsequently, has a substantial bearing on the level of immune response achieved, both humoural and cell mediated, when employed for the delivery of the sub-unit tuberculosis vaccine antigen Ag85B-ESAT-6. Moreover, the microsphere preparations investigated failed to initiate immune responses at the levels achieved with an adjuvant DDA-based liposome formulation (DDA-TDB), further substantiating the superior ability of liposomes as vaccine delivery systems.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-554
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Drug Targeting
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • microspheres, liposomes, PLGA, adjuvants, sub-unit vaccines, tuberculosis

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