Despite successful treatments, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections continue to be a significant world health problem. High treatment costs, the high number of undiagnosed individuals, and the difficulty to access to treatment, particularly in marginalized susceptible populations, make it improbable to achieve the global control of the virus in the absence of an effective preventive vaccine. Current vaccine development is mostly focused on weakly immunogenic subunits, such as surface glycoproteins or non-structural proteins, in the case of HCV. Adjuvants are critical components of vaccine formulations that increase immunogenic performance. As we learn more information about how adjuvants work, it is becoming clear that proper stimulation of innate immunity is crucial to achieving a successful immunization. Several hepatic cell types participate in the early innate immune response and the subsequent inflammation and activation of the adaptive response, principally hepatocytes, and antigen-presenting cells (Kupffer cells, and dendritic cells). Innate pattern recognition receptors on these cells, mainly toll-like receptors, are targets for new promising adjuvants. Moreover, complex adjuvants that stimulate different components of the innate immunity are showing encouraging results and are being incorporated in current vaccines. Recent studies on HCV-vaccine adjuvants have shown that the induction of a strong T- and B-cell immune response might be enhanced by choosing the right adjuvant.
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