Neonatal vaccine effectiveness and the role of adjuvants

Isaac G. Sakala, Katherine Marie Eichinger, Nikolai Petrovsky

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction: Neonates are less responsive to vaccines than adults, making it harder to protect newborns against infection. Neonatal differences in antigen-presenting cell, B and T cell function, all likely contribute. A key question is whether novel adjuvants might be able to make neonatal vaccines more effective.

    Areas covered: This review addresses the issues of how to improve neonatal vaccines, which we have defined as vaccines given in the first 4 weeks of life in a human infant or the first week of life in a mouse. A search was performed using keywords including ‘neonatal immunity’, ‘neonatal immunisation’, ‘vaccine’ and ‘adjuvant’ of PubMed articles published between 1960 and 2018.

    Expert opinion: Sugar-like structures have recently been shown to prime the infant adaptive immune system to respond to vaccines, being potentially more effective than traditional adjuvants. Sugar-based compounds with beneficial adjuvant effects in neonatal vaccine models include delta inulin (Advax), curdlan, and trehalose 6,6ʹ-dibehenate. Such compounds make interesting neonatal adjuvant candidates, either used alone or in combination with traditional innate immune adjuvants.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)869-878
    Number of pages10
    JournalExpert Review of Clinical Immunology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2019


    • adjuvant
    • Advax
    • carbohydrate
    • delta inulin
    • immunity
    • influenza
    • Neonate
    • vaccine


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