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Novel Approach to Conjugate Adjuvants to Live-Attenuated Vaccines


Live attenuated or inactivated organisms are the most efficient and cost-effective vaccines available. In order to reduce production costs and increase immunogenicity or these vaccines, they can be administered together with adjuvanting molecules. Adjuvants increase the potency of the vaccine. However, in live attenuated vaccines, where the vaccine organism may migrate or distribute in the host, co-delivery or vaccine and adjuvant to the same immune cell is challenging. Particularly for organisms which are naturally very low immunogenic, such as malaria parasites, the conjugation of adjuvanting molecules to the outside of the organism would be an ideal solution.

Technology Overview

LUMC researchers have developed a novel adjuvant technology,  that amplifies the interaction of the live-attenuated (sporozoite) vaccine with the host immune system. This technology utilises supramolecular chemistry to pre-target the organism and secondly to conjugate the adjuvant and enhance the immune response. Uniquely, this technology can be applied to both wild-type and attenuated sporozoites and does not require genetic modification of the organism. It can also be used to induce or polarize an immune response at any point during the development of the pre-erythrocytic malaria parasites and/or at specific anatomical locations. Research so far has focused on malaria. However, the developed technology is non-specific and has the potential to be used for other single-cell pathogens such as bacteria or multicellular organisms such as helminths.


We are looking for partner (s) for joint research, development and clinical translation of this technology. 

Keywords: parasite, malaria, vaccine, molecular imaging, formulation, parasites, fluorescence, schistosoma, hookworm, bacteria

Key benefits

  • Is a novel approach to conjugate adjuvants to live-attenuated vaccines
  • Preserves the viability of the live vaccine organism;
  • Does not require genetic modification;
  • Allows for enhancement of the immune response;
  • Is suitable for clinical translation.

Luris reference number


Patent status

A patent application is filed.