Background: Innate immune system plays an important role in pathogen detection
and the recognition of vaccines, mainly through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that
identify pathogen components (danger signals). One of the typically recognised bacterial
components are lipids in conjugation with peptides, proteins and saccharides. Lipidic compounds
are readily recognised by the immune system, and thus are ideal candidates for peptide-
based vaccine delivery. Thus, bacterial or synthetic lipids mixed with, or conjugated to,
antigens have shown adjuvant properties. These systems have many advantages over traditional
adjuvants, including low toxicity and good efficacy for stimulating mucosal and systemic
Methods: The most recent literature on the role of lipids in stimulation of immune responses
was selected for this review. The vast majority of reviewed papers were published in the last
decade. Older but significant findings are also cited.
Results: This review focuses on the development of lipopeptide vaccine systems including
application of palmitic acid, bacterial lipopeptides, glycolipids and the lipid core peptide and
their routes of administration. The use of liposomes as a delivery system that incorporates
lipopeptides is discussed. The review also includes a brief description of immune system in
relation to vaccinology and discussion on vaccine delivery routes.
Conclusion: Lipids and their conjugates are an ideal frontrunner in the development of safe
and efficient vaccines for different immunisation routes.