Although vaccines have been highly successful in preventing and treating many infectious diseases (including smallpox, polio and diphtheria) diseases prevalent in the developing world such as malaria and HIV, that suppress the host immune system, require new, multiple strategies that will be defined by our growing understanding of specific immune activation. The definition of adjuvants, previously thought of as any substance that enhanced the immunogenicity of antigen, could now include soluble mediators and antigenic carriers that interact with surface molecules present on DC (e.g. LPS, Flt3L, heat shock protein) particulate antigens which are taken up by mechanisms available to APC but not other cell types (e.g. immunostimulatory complexes, latex, polystyrene particles) and viral/bacterial vectors that infect antigen presenting cells (e.g. vaccinia, lentivirus, adenovirus). These approaches, summarized herein, have shown potential in vaccinating against disease in animal models, and in some cases in humans. Of these, particle-antigen conjugates provide rapid formulation of the vaccine, easy storage and wide application, with both carrier and adjuvant functions that activate DC. Combined vaccines of the future could use adjuvants such as virus-like particles and particles targeted towards a predominant cellular type or immune response, with target cell activation enhanced by growth factors or maturation signals prior to, or during immunization. Collectively, these new additions to adjuvant technology provide opportunities for more specific immune regulation than previously available.