Understanding host immunity and the gut microbiota inspires the new development of vaccines and adjuvants

Kyosuke Yakabe, Jun Uchiyama, Masahiro Akiyama, Yun Gi Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Vaccinations improve the mortality and morbidity rates associated with several infections through the generation of antigen-specific immune responses. Adjuvants are often used together with vaccines to improve immunogenicity. However, the immune responses induced by most on-going vaccines and adjuvants approved for human use vary in individuals; this is a limitation that must be overcome to improve vaccine efficacy. Several reports have indicated that the symbiotic bacteria, particularly the gut microbiota, impact vaccine-mediated antigen-specific immune responses and promote the induction of nonspecific responses via the “training” of innate immune cells. Therefore, the interaction between gut microbiota and innate immune cells should be considered to ensure the optimal immunogenicity of vaccines and adjuvants. In this review, we first introduce the current knowledge on the immunological mechanisms of vaccines and adjuvants. Subsequently, we discuss how the gut microbiota influences immunity and highlight the relationship between gut microbes and trained innate immunity, vaccines, and adjuvants. Understanding these complex interactions will provide insights into novel vaccine approaches centered on the gut microbiota.

Original languageEnglish
Article number163
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan


  • Adjuvant
  • Gut microbiota
  • Immunity
  • Infection
  • Prebi-otics
  • Probiotics
  • Trained innate immunity
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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