An adjuvant is a substance (pharmacological and/or immunological) that modifies the effect of other substances or medicines. Immunological adjuvants may be added to vaccines to boost the immune response. Adjuvant therapy or care is therapy that is given in addition to the main or initial therapy to maximise its effectiveness. For example, radiotherapy is commonly given as adjuvant treatment after surgery for breast or other cancers. An adjuvant is a substance included in a vaccine to enhance and modulate the quality and/or strength of the immune response induced by the antigen. The closer the pathogen is to its native form, the more it is immunogenic but the less it is tolerated by the patient.
Cunningham AL et al. Vaccine 2016;34:6655–6664