Publications & Reports

Crude saponins improve the immune response to an oral plant-made measles vaccine.

Pickering RJ, Smith SD, Strugnell RA, Wesselingh SL, Webster DE
The Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health, P.O. Box 2284, Melbourne, Vic. 3001, Australia.


Millions of people live in areas where infectious diseases, such as measles, are endemic and resources are scarce. Heat-stable vaccines that are delivered orally will greatly enhance vaccination programs in these areas. A stumbling block in the development of oral vaccines is the availability of safe and effective mucosal adjuvants, especially for use with subunit vaccines. The experiments presented here examine the ability of CTB/CT, LT(R192G) and crude Quillaja saponin extracts to stimulate MV-specific immune responses in mice, following oral immunisation with plant-made measles virus hemagglutinin (MV-H) protein. LT(R192G) and crude saponin extracts both functioned as potent mucosal adjuvants when ad-mixed with plant-made MV-H protein, and were more effective than CTB/CT. MV-H protein supplemented with saponin extract induced the strongest MV-specific responses, in the greatest number of mice. Crude saponins are routinely used by the food and beverage industry at concentrations greater than those required for adjuvanticity, and as such, they have a better safety profile than bacterial enterotoxins. This study demonstrates their potential as adjuvants for use with oral plant-made vaccines.


  • Journal: Vaccine
  • Published: 12/01/2006
  • Volume: 24
  • Issue: 2
  • Pagination: 144-150