Last updated on: 28.12.2020

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ISCOM is the acronym for "immunostimulating complexes". Immunostimulatory complexes contain besides phospolipids and cholesterol also purified extracts of Quillaja saponins which originate from the bark of the soap bark tree. ISCOMs form cage-like structures, typically with a diameter of 40 nm. Animal experiments have demonstrated that ISCOM-based vaccines promote both antibody and cellular immune responses. ISCOMs form cage-like structures. After adsorption of antigenic compounds, they enhance the immune response.

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The immunostimulatory complex or "Iscom" was first described by Morein et al. in 1984 as a novel structure for antigenic presentation of membrane proteins from enveloped viruses with potent immunomodulatory ability (Sanders MT et al. 2005).

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  1. Pearse MJ et al.(2005) ISCOMATRIX adjuvant for antigen delivery. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 57:465-474.
  2. Sanders MT et al (2005) ISCOM-based vaccines: the second decade. Immunol Cell Biol 83:119-128.
  3. Sun HX et al (2009) ISCOMs and ISCOMATRIX. Vaccine 27:4388-4401.

Outgoing links (3)

Cholesterol; Immune response; Soap bark;

Last updated on: 28.12.2020