Enhancement of live vaccines by co-delivery of immune modulating proteins

Megha M. Manohar, Bronwyn E. Campbell, Anna K. Walduck, Robert J. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Vaccines are very effective in providing protection against many infectious diseases. However, it has proven difficult to develop highly efficacious vaccines against some pathogens and so there is a continuing need to improve vaccine technologies. The first successful and widely used vaccines were based on attenuated pathogens (e.g., laboratory passaged Pasteurella multocida to vaccinate against fowl cholera) or closely related non-pathogenic organisms (e.g., cowpox to vaccinate against smallpox). Subsequently, live vaccines, either attenuated pathogens or non-pathogenic microorganisms modified to deliver heterologous antigens, have been successfully used to induce protective immune responses against many pathogens. Unlike conventional killed and subunit vaccines, live vaccines can deliver antigens to mucosal surfaces in a similar manner and context as the natural infection and hence can often produce a more appropriate and protective immune response. Despite these advantages, there is still a need to improve the immunogenicity of some live vaccines. The efficacy of injectable killed and subunit vaccines is usually enhanced using adjuvants such mineral salts, oils, and saponin, but such adjuvants cannot be used with live vaccines. Instead, live vaccines can be engineered to produce immunomodulatory molecules that can stimulate the immune system to induce more robust and long-lasting adaptive immune responses. This review focuses on research that has been undertaken to engineer live vaccines to produce immunomodulatory molecules that act as adjuvants to increase immunogenicity. Adjuvant strategies with varying mechanisms of action (inflammatory, antibody-mediated, cell-mediated) and delivery modes (oral, intramuscular, intranasal) have been investigated, with varying degrees of success. The goal of such research is to define adjuvant strategies that can be adapted to enhance live vaccine efficacy by triggering strong innate and adaptive immune responses and produce vaccines against a wider range of pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5769-5780
Number of pages12
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvants
  • Challenge experiments
  • Immunomodulation
  • Live vaccines
  • Mucosal immunity
  • Subunit vaccines
  • Vaccine efficacy

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