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Vaxjo Introduction

Vaccines are one of the most effective preventative health tools available against infectious diseases, cancer, allergy, and autoimmune diseases. Vaccination aims to generate a strong immune response to the administrated antigen and provide long-term protection against a disease. The stimulation of the immune system is the key to how vaccines act to provide protection, and frequently using only the antigen is not enough to stimulate that protective immunity. Vaccine adjuvants are compounds that enhance the immunogenicity of a vaccine. They do so by improving the biological persistence of antigens in the body, improving the delivery of antigens to antigen presenting cells (APCs), and activating the production of immunomodulatory cytokines.? The use of adjuvants also allow for a reduction in the number of immunizations or the amount of antigen needed for immunization.

A wide array of adjuvants from a variety of sources are being developed and used. There are adjuvants derived from microorganisms (e.g., LPS, MPL, and Freundí»s complete adjuvant), the immune system (e.g., IL-12 and GM-CSF), synthetically made compounds, and other sources. Adjuvants can function as immunostimulants, vehicles and carriers, and can be administered either parenterally or mucosally.?Altough experimentally there are many adjuvants that have been used, the numbe of licensed adjuvants for vaccine development are limited. In the US, only alum salts and AS04 (containing MPL) are licensed for use in humans.

While intensive research has been conducted and resulted in identification of many vaccine adjuvants, there is no reported central resource that allows storage, annotation, comparison, and analysis of vaccine adjuvants. To address this challenge, we have developed Vaxjo (http://www.violinet.org/vaxjo), a web-based vaccine adjuvant database and analysis system. Vaxjo stores manually curated vaccine adjuvants and associated information. It also allows bioinformatics analysis and comparison of various vaccine adjuvants.