Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015.
World J Virology. Aug 12, 2015; 4(3): 156-168
Published online Aug 12, 2015. doi: 10.5501/wjv.v4.i3.156
Table 1 Overview of the different vaccine formulations
Vaccine typeDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesImmunogenicityExamples
Live attenuated vaccinesLiving weakened microbes that generally show reduced pathogenicityInduce a protective immune response by activating both B and T cell responses; induce long-term immunity; do not require adjuvants; unable to spread and cause infectionThey can revert towards virulent forms or can be insufficiently attenuated for immunosuppressed individuals with risk of infection; difficult to produce in a scalable setting; heat-labile; quality and safety requirementsHumoral and cytotoxic immune responsesSmallpox; yellow fever; rabies; measles; mumps; rubella; typhoid; influenza; rotavirus; varicella
Killed/inactivated vaccinesBacteria (killed vaccines) or viruses (inactivated vaccines) inactivated by chemical orphysical treatmentsDue to the absence of living pathogens they do not revert towards virulent forms and can be used in immunodeficient hosts; not heat-labileRepeated booster shots and adjuvants (with subsequent local reactions at the vaccine site) are required to optimally trigger the adaptive immune system and generate long-term immunity; do not give rise to cytotoxic T cells; poor induction of mucosal immunity; difficult to produce in a scalable setting; quality and safety requirementsHumoral immunityDiphtheria; tetanus; pertussis; haemophilus influenzae type b; poliomyelitis; rabies; meningitidis; Japanese encephalitis; cholera; hepatitis A; hepatitis B
Toxoids vaccinesPurified exotoxins chemically inactivated into toxoids that retain the ability to induce toxin-neutralizing antibodiesSafe and stable. There is no possibility of reversion to pathogenicity or spread of live microbe to other animalsPoorly immunogenic; need adjuvants and large amounts or multiple doses to ensure efficient activation of the adaptive immune response and generation of long-last immunity; local reactions at vaccine siteB cell activation (T cell dependent)Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis toxoids; acellular pertussis vaccines; anthrax secreted proteins
Subunit/polysaccharide vaccinesAntigenic components of pathogens: partly or fully purified protein antigens or capsular polysaccharidesCan be chemically linked to protein carrierVariable degree of immunogenicity; need adjuvants (and often multiple doses); frequent local reactions at the injection siteT-dependent and/or T-independent immune responsesHepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzaetype b; influenza; meningococcus, pneumococcus, and Haemophilus influenzae type B polysaccharides
Plasmid DNAGenetically engineered vectors expressing antigens of interestInability to revert to pathogenic forms; activation of innate and adaptive immune responses; highly stable; easy storage and transport; large-scale production; optimization of plasmids and transcript is possibleNot-useful for non-protein immunogens; lower immunogenicity in human compared to mice; low transfection efficiencyActivation of antigen-specific B cells, CD4+ and CD8+ T cellsInfectioushaematopoieticnecrosis virus; West Nile virus; melanoma; growth hormonereleasing hormone
Vectored vaccinesLive recombinant viral and bacterial vectors expressing heterologous antigensAbility to induce specific humoral and cellular immune responses; high transduction efficiency; highly effective in dividing and non-dividing cells; production of high levels of antigens inside target cells; sustained gene expression; vector itself can provide an adjuvant effectHigh expense; toxic side effects; limits on transgene size; potential for insertional mutagenesis; anti-vector immunity; difficult to manufacture and storeB cell, CD4+ and cytotoxic CD8+ T cell activationAdenovirus; adeno-associated virus; retrovirus; lentivirus; Herpes simplex virus; Salmonella
NanoparticlesNano-scale size materials made of polymers, proteins or lipids used as carrier systems (e.g., PLGA, liposomes, virosomes, Virus-like particles)Ability to induce humoral and cellular immune responses; increased antigen uptake, processing and presentation; controlled/sustained release of vaccine target; depot effect; targeted delivery; adjuvanticity; high encapsulation; improved cargo bioavailability; transport efficiency;Challenges in vaccine formulation, production, stabilization. Immunotoxicity can occurB-cell, CD4+ and cytotoxic T-cell responsesHepatitis A virus; influenza; human papilloma virus; hepatitis B virus; hepatitis E virus
enhanced permeability; biodegradability and biocompatibility