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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 831486, 13 pages
Research Article

Vaxjo: A Web-Based Vaccine Adjuvant Database and Its Application for Analysis of Vaccine Adjuvants and Their Uses in Vaccine Development

1Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
3Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
4Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
5Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

Received 2 August 2011; Revised 9 December 2011; Accepted 12 December 2011

Academic Editor: Andre Van Wijnen

Copyright © 2012 Samantha Sayers et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vaccine adjuvants are compounds that enhance host immune responses to co-administered antigens in vaccines. Vaxjo is a web-based central database and analysis system that curates, stores, and analyzes vaccine adjuvants and their usages in vaccine development. Basic information of a vaccine adjuvant stored in Vaxjo includes adjuvant name, components, structure, appearance, storage, preparation, function, safety, and vaccines that use this adjuvant. Reliable references are curated and cited. Bioinformatics scripts are developed and used to link vaccine adjuvants to different adjuvanted vaccines stored in the general VIOLIN vaccine database. Presently, 103 vaccine adjuvants have been curated in Vaxjo. Among these adjuvants, 98 have been used in 384 vaccines stored in VIOLIN against over 81 pathogens, cancers, or allergies. All these vaccine adjuvants are categorized and analyzed based on adjuvant types, pathogens used, and vaccine types. As a use case study of vaccine adjuvants in infectious disease vaccines, the adjuvants used in Brucella vaccines are specifically analyzed. A user-friendly web query and visualization interface is developed for interactive vaccine adjuvant search. To support data exchange, the information of vaccine adjuvants is stored in the Vaccine Ontology (VO) in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) format.