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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 282913, 19 pages
Review Article

Malaria Vaccine Adjuvants: Latest Update and Challenges in Preclinical and Clinical Research

1NanoBioCel Group, Laboratory of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
2Networking Biomedical Research Center on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Received 14 January 2013; Accepted 21 March 2013

Academic Editor: Udai P. Singh

Copyright © 2013 Elena Mata 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.


There is no malaria vaccine currently available, and the most advanced candidate has recently reported a modest 30% efficacy against clinical malaria. Although many efforts have been dedicated to achieve this goal, the research was mainly directed to identify antigenic targets. Nevertheless, the latest progresses on understanding how immune system works and the data recovered from vaccination studies have conferred to the vaccine formulation its deserved relevance. Additionally to the antigen nature, the manner in which it is presented (delivery adjuvants) as well as the immunostimulatory effect of the formulation components (immunostimulants) modulates the immune response elicited. Protective immunity against malaria requires the induction of humoral, antibody-dependent cellular inhibition (ADCI) and effector and memory cell responses. This review summarizes the status of adjuvants that have been or are being employed in the malaria vaccine development, focusing on the pharmaceutical and immunological aspects, as well as on their immunization outcomings at clinical and preclinical stages.